Scott Reid, MP: Electoral reform must go to a referendum
On Oct. 19, the Liberals were elected on a platform that included dozens of promises, including more than 30 on various aspects of democratic reform.
One of these was the dramatic but vague promise that 2015 would be “the last election conducted under the first past the post system.” The authors of the platform can be forgiven for sacrificing precision for the sake of a punchier-sounding promise.
But the new government really cannot be excused for the assertions that it has since made, that it was given a mandate to unilaterally select a new electoral system in time for the 2019 election.
Here are a few obvious problems with the Liberal assertion that the election gave the new government an unlimited mandate to design the electoral system of their choosing, without giving Canadians the right to say “No.”
First, such a mandate would exist only if every voter who supported the Liberals did so solely because of this one policy. This just obviously wasn’t the case.