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Ottawa chapter joins rally for electoral reform on Parliament Hill

The Council of Canadians Ottawa chapter was on Parliament Hill today for a rally in support of electoral reform.

They were there with about 100 others to greet 75-year-old Fair Vote Toronto activist Ron Weigand who walked 200 kilometres from Kingston to Ottawa to draw attention to the issue of electoral reform.

Among the speakers on the Hill for today’s rally were NDP MP Nathan Cullen and Green Party leader Elizabeth May, both strong supporters of electoral reform.

During the October 2015 federal election campaign, the Liberals explicitly 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.”

On December 1, 2016, the all-party Special Committee on Electoral Reform 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.”

By February 1, 2017, despite his very clear election promise, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ruled out electoral reform.

Now a vote on a motion to concur with the recommendations in the committee’s report is scheduled to take place this Wednesday (May 31).

Our ally Fair Vote Canada highlights, “This will be a free vote. The NDP, Green, and Bloc are expected to vote yes. [The new Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has already stated that he supports the first-past-the-post system.] 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.”

Council of Canadians chapters and allies across the country are demanding that their MP vote for electoral reform.

Please contact your MP before Wednesday’s vote.