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London chapter calls on Trudeau to keep his promise and make every vote count

The Council of Canadians London chapter participated in a community rally for electoral reform on April 13.

The outreach highlighted, “Join us, bring a sign (we’ll have a few on hand) and show up at Oxford and Richmond at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday if you can.” The ‘action for proportional representation’ was hosted by the group Pro Rep in London, Ontario.

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.

On December 1, 2016, the report of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform was tabled in the House of Commons. The committee 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.”

But by February of this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote in his mandate letter to the Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould: “A clear preference for a new electoral system, let alone a consensus, has not emerged. Furthermore, without a clear preference or a clear question, a referendum would not be in Canada’s interest. Changing the electoral system will not be in your mandate.”

The NDP have noted, “There’s one last vote on electoral reform in Parliament before the May deadline. This spring, MPs will vote on whether to accept the recommendations of the Canada-wide consultation tour.”

The Council of Canadians calls on the Liberal government to keep their promise that the 2015 election would be the last held until the first-past-the-post voting system and introduce legislation next month to ensure that a new voting system can be in place in time for the October 2019 federal election.

We also encourage our supporters across the country to contact their MP to convey your support for electoral reform.

If proportional representation had been in place for the October 2015 federal election, the Liberals would not have won a majority government (but rather 134 seats), the Conservatives 109 seats (rather than 99), the NDP 67 seats (rather than 44), the Green Party 12 seats (rather than 1), and the Bloc Quebecois 16 seats (rather than 10).

To use the language of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, there is an unacceptable “level of distortion” for the Liberals to have won only 39.47 per cent of the popular vote in the last election but to get 54.48 per cent of the seats in the House of Commons.