Listen to the people on electoral reform, says Green Party


A fair system for electing members of parliament.

OTTAWA – The results of Ontario’s public consultation on electoral reform send a clear signal to the federal government to abandon its ludicrous “private” public consultation and start listening to what Canadians want – a fair system for electing members of parliament, Green Party leader Elizabeth May said today.

“The Harper government promised in the Throne Speech to consider reforming our archaic first-part-the-post voting system,” said May, “but they have no real interest in changing a system that puts them in power with 36% of the vote.”

This became clear, she said, when the government appointed a conservative think tank to run the closed-door focus groups that will be the basis for its “public” consultation on electoral reform.

May called for an open and transparent nationwide consultation on the issue. “Ontario’s Citizens’ Assembly is a great model,” she said, “and the fact that it has come out overwhelmingly in favour of the change to proportional representation proves that this is an idea whose time has come.”

Green Party electoral reform spokesperson Chris Tindal said that members of the Citizens’ Assembly underwent intensive education and public consultation phases, and heard from all view points before reaching their decision.

“It was a truly democratic, grassroots and unbiased process, in stark contrast to the Harper government’s current $900,000 closed-door think tank process, which can produce questionable results at best,” he said.

“Politicians should take note of the overwhelming majority (92%) by which the Citizens’ Assembly voted in favour of change. This proves that not only do most people want a fair voting system, but that their support for proportional representation increases the more they know about it.”

“Democracy belongs to citizens, not politicians,” said Tindal. “For too long, Canadians have sensed that something is wrong with their voting system but have not known what to do about it. Ontario now has a chance to take democracy back. The rest of Canada deserves the same chance.”


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