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MP Nathan Cullen challenges Liberal MPs to debate electoral reform at public forums

Public forum on electoral reform in Kitchener-Waterloo, March 29.

The Canadian Press reports, “New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen is planning a series of town-hall meetings in Liberal ridings across the country in an effort to resurrect the issue of electoral reform. He says he will challenge 20 Liberal MPs to show up at meetings in their ridings to debate the issue. He also says those 20 votes would make all the difference if those MPs were to break with the prime minister.”

The NDP note, “There’s one last vote on electoral reform in Parliament before the May deadline. After that, it could be too late to set up a new voting system in time for the next election. This spring, MPs will vote on whether to accept the recommendations of the Canada-wide consultation tour, including that the government hold a referendum where Canadians can choose between the current voting system and a proportional one.”

Three forums have already taken place: Toronto (March 25), Kitchener (March 29), and Guelph (March 30).

Upcoming forums are also expected to take place in:
Atlantic: Halifax, Charlottetown, St. John’s
Ontario-Quebec: Montreal, Niagara, Ottawa, Sudbury, Kingston, Peterborough, Hamilton, Thunder Bay
Prairies-NWT: Regina, Winnipeg
Pacific: Vancouver, Kelowna, Whitehorse

During the October 2015 federal election, the Liberals promised: “We will make every vote count. We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system. We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting. This committee will deliver its recommendations to Parliament. Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.”

By February 2017, Trudeau wrote in his mandate letter to the incoming 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 Council of Canadians calls on the Liberal government to keep their promise 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 Liberal MP individually to convey your support for electoral reform.

And if you live in one of these ridings, you may also want to contact your MP to encourage them to debate Cullen on electoral reform at a public meeting: Montreal (Justin Trudeau), Niagara (Vance Badawey), Whitehorse (Larry Bagnell), Halifax (Andy Fillmore), Ottawa (Catherine McKenna), Charlottetown (Sean Casey), St. John’s (Nick Whalen), Sudbury (Marc Serré), Kingston (Mark Gerretsen), Peterborough (Maryam Monsef), Regina (Ralph Goodale), Hamilton (Bob Bratina), Thunder Bay (Don Rusnak), Winnipeg (Kevin Lamoureux), Vancouver (Terry Beech), Kelowna (Stephen Fuhr).