The Council of Canadians Guelph chapter took part in a Democracy Guelph/ All Votes Count meeting on May 13 and is continuing to encourage their Liberal MP Lloyd Longfield to keep his promise on electoral reform.
Chapter activist Lin Grist tells us, “I facilitated a workshop for the Democracy Guelph/All Votes Count group here in Guelph on Saturday. Democracy Guelph is a newly formed group which is trying to bring together all the major parties to agree to work together on electoral reform. They came up with a Local Proportional Representation model sometime in early March. You can read more about that here. Democracy Guelph is also working on petitions and trying to persuade our local MP to keep his promise on electoral reform.”
Just after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke his election promise to implement electoral reform, Longfield stated, “It’s come off the mandate letter of the Minister, which means it’s not a priority right now and there’s no time frame for when it might come forward. But we have to listen to our constituents and pass their feelings on. We have to listen to our constituents. Constituents come forward with opinions and it’s my job to get their opinions relayed on to the appropriate ministries.”
Longfield will have an opportunity to vote in favour of electoral reform on May 31.
On that day, the House of Commons is scheduled to vote on a motion to concur with the recommendations of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform.
On December 1, 2016, the all-party committee presented its report to the House. It recommended, “that the government should, as it develops a new electoral system … minimize the level of distortion between the popular will of the electorate and the resultant seat allocations in Parliament.”
During the last federal election, Longfield was one of 43 Liberal candidates who answered ‘Yes’ when asked by Fair Vote Canada if they “feel the number of MPs elected to Parliament from each party should be roughly proportional to the number of votes cast for that party’s candidates.”
While Trudeau has ruled out electoral reform, Longfield and other Liberal MPs will have the opportunity on May 31 to keep the hope of electoral reform alive.
Our ally Fair Vote Canada highlights, “This will be a free vote. The NDP, Green, and Bloc are expected to vote yes. With the votes of just 20 Liberal MPs, the motion would pass. If the motion passes, it becomes a resolution of the House, restarting the important conversation on the promise to make every vote count in 2019.”
Over the past five months, Council of Canadians chapter activists have been participating in numerous rush-hour rallies, meeting with their Member of Parliament, attending public forums, and taking other action to demand that Liberals MPs not break their promise to implement electoral reform.
Council of Canadians supporters and chapter activists are now encouraged to ramp up this pressure on Liberal MPs.