We may have to wait a while for electoral reform in British Columbia. The federal government, however, will get a chance to move on changing how we vote tomorrow.
Debate has ended on NDP Democratic Reform Critic Nathan Cullen’s motion to adopt the final report of the all-party Electoral Reform Committee, setting the stage for a vote Wednesday on whether Canadians will have a new, proportional voting system in place for the 2019 federal election.
“Tomorrow is an opportunity for Liberal MPs to keep their promises to Canadians to reform our outdated and unfair voting system,” Cullen said in the foyer of the House of Commons today. “All it takes is for 20 Liberal MPs to listen to their constituents and their consciences.”
Cullen’s motion comes on the heels of his two-month, cross-country Keep Your Promise tour that targeted ridings narrowly won by Liberals in 2015. The tour harnessed the sense of betrayal felt by angry constituents who swept the Liberals into power largely on their platform and individual campaign promises to make 2015 the last election under first-past-the-post.
“When the prime minister abandoned electoral reform he said it was ‘his decision to make’ – it was not,” Cullen said. “More than 60 per cent of Canadians elected MPs who campaigned on modernizing how we vote. Now it’s on individual Liberals to live up to their promises and move Canadians to a 21st Century voting model.”
The NDP’s Democratic Reform team of Cullen and deputy critic Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie) created a balanced parliamentary electoral reform committee that removed the government’s false majority of membership. The committee’s work led to a final report that reflects Canadians’ clear desire for a voting system to elect a House of Commons that reflects the proportion of votes that each party actually receives.
The vote on Cullen’s motion to accept the electoral reform report is scheduled for tomorrow after Question Period.