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Electoral Reform first, then a referendum? Doable.

First off, Happy New Year everyone! I also hope you all had a good Christmas, and Happy Eastern Orthodox Christmas to those celebrating that this week.

Let’s talk electoral reform again, shall we? I know it’s the seemingly implausible “in” topic these days, but it’s been made into one, what with the Conservatives throwing a temper tantrum, threatening to use the unelected Senate to stop electoral reform if the Liberals don’t give in to their demand to hold a referendum (irony of ironies).

So along comes Andrew Coyne with this column. He is supporting NDP MP Nathan Cullen’s position: implement electoral reform and a new voting system – whatever that maybe and without needing a referendum – then have the voters try it out for at least 1 election, let everyone see how the new Parliament(s) work under it,  and THEN have the referendum, which would give voters the choice between keeping whatever the new voting system is vs returning to First Past The Post.

I am open to this as a compromise position when we come down to the end of things after the committee reports back, if we still have Conservatives or others yelling and screaming and otherwise holding things up (though at this stage, which is basically pre-start of said Committee, I’m inclined to actually wait and see what gets proposed before making a decision on that, unlike the Conservatives, who seem determined to try and scuttle reform right out of the gate).

I would offer though if there is to be a referendum, that it be held possibly up to 2 years before the next election. I think in the middle of whatever government’s term is probably the best time to hold this, if this scenario were to play out.




1 comment to Electoral Reform first, then a referendum? Doable.

  • Kevin

    The problem I see with the current system is that in Justins case is was 36 percent and he ended up with a majority. I know Harpers number were close to the same. Making voting mandatory would be a massive mistake, Say only 40 percent of Canadians vote which considering that after many years we become discontent with who ever is in power that voter apathy plays a huge part. So now you force people to vote and you have a overwhelming majority who are ill-informed and don’t care making a decision for the less than half who actually take the time to be informed.
    I know …I have been there and to a degree I am still am. I find politics fascinating mainly as a blood sport and a place for the elite in our society to pad their resumes and get the golden goose that awaits them after a full term. You want better turn outs? How about a total reform of our whole system. I have a very well paid job and the benefits are great and the pension is second to none in my industry. But I have to wait until retirement to collect my pension. And arguing that these multi-millionares could be earning so much more in private than in the public life is a piss poor argument. We need informed caring middle class people running our country. People who have had to work hard all their lives to make a living. Not some rich kid or people who feel it is their destiny and want a legacy on Wikipedia after they are gone. Do I have all the answers…hell no but I would be willing to bet all my savings and pension that given the choice most Canadians would choose a alternate party that offered some real choices for Canadians instead of the status quo that we have had to deal with under the last 40 years. Not one in my mind has stood out as a great leader or even mediocre.
    Its my hope as my kids grow up that they get these choices because at the rate we are going with deficit spending and scandals( which happen in any government) and officials that don’t really give a dam except to pad their own egos and accounts we are doomed to reap what we sow.

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