February 1st, 2018

A year later: Liberals broken promise on electoral reform

OTTAWA – Today marks the one-year anniversary of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s broken promise to make the 2015 federal election the last election held under first-past-the-post. In response, the NDP’s BC Liaison and Democratic Reform Critic, Nathan Cullen, stood with stakeholders to remind disappointed Canadians that they can put the issue back on the ballot box in 2019.

“Let’s be clear, during the last election, which was supposed to be the last held under first past the post, two thirds of Canadians voted for a party that was promising electoral reform. This was a clear promise in the Liberal platform, and Justin Trudeau repeated it hundreds of times,” said Cullen. “The choice to abandon electoral reform was one of the most cynical decisions made by this Prime Minister. Canadians have every reason to still feel betrayed.”

Before the Liberals broke their promise on electoral reform, 90% of experts and 80% of Canadians that testified asked the government to adopt a proportional system. The Prime Minister likes to argue that a proportional system is ‘dangerous', but that statement is disingenuous and has been refuted several times.

“It became clear in the lead-up to their betrayal on electoral reform that the Liberals decided to maintain the current system because it benefits them, period. But Canadians can feel hopeful,” added Cullen. “British Columbians will soon be mailing in their ballots in a referendum on proportional representation. In Québec, all the opposition parties have endorsed proportional representation in the lead up to the next provincial election and in PEI, a referendum on the voting system is expected during their next provincial election. With the work of all of these provinces, we can hope that the rest will be inspired, and the next time Canadians vote federally for electoral reform, it will become a reality.”