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Nelson chapter to collect signatures for petition demanding electoral reform, April 21

The Council of Canadians Nelson chapter will have an information table focused on electoral reform at the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative on April 21.

Chapter activist Sandra Nelken tells us, “We will have a number of information materials on proportional representation and Nathan Cullen’s petition for his Keep Your Promise cross-Canada tour.”

That petition says:

“We, the undersigned residents of Canada, draw the attention of the Government of Canada to the following:

THAT Canadians deserve a fair voting system where every vote counts and our voices are always hear;

THAT two-thirds of Canadians voted for parties promising electoral reform in the last federal election;

THAT nearly 90% of experts and public testimony at Parliament’s consultations called for a proportional voting system where the number of seats in Parliament a party receives is proportional to their share of the popular vote;

THEREFORE, we call on the Government of Canada to keep its promise to Canadians, endorse the recommendations of the all-party committee on electoral reform, and make 2015 the last federal election conducted under first-past-the-post.”

With respect to the tour, the Canadian Press has reported, “NDP MP Nathan Cullen says he will challenge 20 Liberal MPs to show up at meetings in their ridings to debate [electoral reform]. He also says those 20 votes would make all the difference if those MPs were to break with the prime minister.”

All of this comes in the critical weeks before a vote in the House of Commons on the recommendations made by the Special Committee on Electoral Reform.

On December 1, 2016, the 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.”

But on February 1, despite his October 2015 election promise, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ruled out electoral reform.

Next month is the deadline for the federal government to introduce legislation to implement electoral reform in time for the October 2019 federal election.

Be sure to contact your Member of Parliament to tell them you support electoral reform and want to see legislation on it moving forward.