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Neutralizing a talking point

I’m not going to get all in a lather over the obvious domestic consumption this Senate Envy speech was meant for that Harper gave in Australia.

Rather, it gives me another opportunity to say that in my opinion, if you’re a Liberal strategist, and you want to take away this rather obvious line of attack Harper is setting up for the next election, you convince Dion and the rest of the Liberal leadership that the obvious and very easy counterpunch to this is putting forth a promise of electoral reform in the House of Commons where the real voting power resides, and where you don’t need a constitutional amendment to reform it.

It also kills 2 birds with 1 stone in that it helps present the Liberals and Dion as embracing a bold proposal that might get people to notice that it isn’t the same old Liberal Party – that we are willing to embrace new reformist ideas.

I don’t even mind if the Liberal leadership or strategists can’t bring themselves to say “We will present a model of proportional representation similar to what Mr. Dion proposed when he was an academic to the people to decide if they want this for electoral reform.”

If they went just with the idea of forming a federal equivalent of the Ontario Citizen’s Assembly to come up with its own proposal to then present to the voters to accept or reject, I’d be on Cloud Nine. But, that’s the way to counter Harper’s sham proposal of Senate half-reform – propose a valid counterproposal of House of Commons electoral reform and challenge Harper to endorse it.

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4 comments to Neutralizing a talking point

  • J

    Scott, I entirely agree with what you're saying here. I'm a Liberal, and I'm wondering if there is any kind of pro-electoral-reform organization or club or movement or ginger-group within the LPC that you've heard of? If  not, maybe we should set one up. This reform is about 120 years overdue.

  • I gotta agree with Scott on this one Vicky? "Forcing MMP down our throats"?!? Really?!

    The Citizens' Assembly was started by the Liberals, learned about the options for voting reform , consulted broadly with Ontarians and came together to (nearly unanimously!) recommend MMP. I think their work deserves much more respect than the people at No MMP are giving it.

    And Scott's right about the preferential ballot, or alternative vote in political science terminology. Does nothing for women's representation. Nothing for real voter choice. Provides none of the demonstrable benefits for good government that proportional systems too. If you looked at the evidence with an open mind like the Citizens' Assembly did, I can't see how you wouldn't come to the same conclusion.

  • You No people really are something at times 🙄

    The CA isnt trying to force anything down our throats.  These were everyday regular people who were asked to sit on this,  which the Liberals promised in 2003 would happen. The CA has given what it thinks to be the best system to replace the one we currently have – and the voters will have their say. "Forcing it down our throats" is if the Liberals had taken the proposal and instantly implemented it without allowing the electorate to decide.

    As for preferential ballot, I've already stated its FPTP-lite and does nothing to reform the current system.

    I can tell you Dion's preference for reform back in his academic days isn't dissimilar to the Globe and Mail's endorsed model, of which I've sent you already.

  • As long as it isn't the MMP format the Citizen's Assembly is trying to force down our throats.

    If it were a preferrential ballot system, I wouldn't be necessarily opposed.

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