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Kamloops chapter launches postcard campaign calling on Monsef to implement proportional representation

The Council of Canadians Kamloops chapter has launched a postcard campaign calling for proportional representation.

Kamloops chapter activist Michael Crawford has posted, “Kamloops Council of Canadians want to send Minister Maryam Monsef a message that there are many Canadians who support proportional representation. Let’s make Trudeau keep his electoral reform promise. Pick up your Monsef postcard at the Smorgasbord Deli, 225-7th Avenue, Kamloops.”

The Special Committee on Electoral Reform that had been consulting people across the country reported to Parliament on December 1. The majority on the committee stated, “The committee recommends 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.” In contrast, the Liberal members of the committee stated, “The recommendations posed in the majority report regarding alternative electoral systems are rushed and are too radical to impose at this time as Canadians must be more engaged.”

While she apologized the following day, Monsef made fun of the committee’s report in the House of Commons and criticized the committee for failing to “complete the hard work we had expected it to”.

Then on December 5, the Liberal government launched an interactive survey at MyDemocracy.ca. That survey has been widely criticized as vague in that people are not asked to respond to specific electoral systems or descriptions of those systems. To help you complete the survey, Unifor has condensed an analysis provided by Fair Vote Canada. When you fill out the survey, please use this summary to show the federal government you want proportional representation. The deadline is December 30, 2016.

Today, the Canadian Press reports, “Monsef concedes Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system has its advantages. And, whatever its flaws, she acknowledges it would be welcomed in fledgling democracies like Afghanistan, from whence she fled as a youngster. But a mature democracy like Canada can do better, she says. The objective, she says, is to engage voters, improve turn out during elections and make all Canadians feel like their votes count.”

During the last federal election, the Liberals promised that the 2015 election would be the last held until the first-past-the-post voting system and set a deadline of May 2017 to introduce legislation on electoral reform.

Over the past year, twenty-eight chapters have presented to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, attended a consultation with Monsef, attended a town hall with their MP, had a meeting with their MP, organized their own public event, handed out leaflets, published articles in local newspapers, held workshops, and worked closely with Fair Vote Canada to express their support for proportional representation.

The next federal election is scheduled to take place on October 21, 2019.