Editorial: Abandoning electoral reform is abandoning voters

Editorial

Tuesday, February 7 2017

This past week, voters and pundits across Canada were astounded to hear Prime Minister Trudeau say there would not be electoral  reform on the agenda.

Well...the Prime Minister didn’t actually say that. He wrote a letter which was then read publicly by Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould.

In the letter, Trudeau wrote, “a clear preference...let alone a consensus, has not emerged.”

Apparently having made it a major part of the Liberals campaign in the last federal election, and then taking public input from literally thousands of Canadians since June of last year - wasn’t enough for the Trudeau government.

Obviously, there isn’t consensus on what version of proportional representation Canadians want. Perhaps that’s what Trudeau means. But the skeptics are taking his statement to mean there is no consensus on whether we as a country want to change our electoral system.

But the galling part - the part that really got the goat of many Canadians, is that barely over a month ago, in December, Trudeau reiterated what he had said during the federal election - that the 2015 Election would be the final one in Canada conducted under the First-Past-The-Post system.

At least the previous Conservative government would just state they weren’t going to change the system.

For the Liberals, this is yet another stab in the back to voters who were willing to give them another chance at governing. (The first being the approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion).

NDP MP Nathan Cullen, who sat on the House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform, pulled no punches, calling Trudeau a liar and the most cynical variety of politician, “saying whatever it takes to get elected....then seeking any excuse...to justify that lie to Canadians.”