Anyone who thinks electoral reform is great way to improve Canada should take a moment to digest the results of Australia’s latest government train wreck.
“I challenge the notion that accepting a more broadly based committee qualifies as “backing down.” It should be read only as less arrogant”
In what was a pretty arrogant answer, Trudeau essentially said that the matter is too complex to leave in the hands of voters.
To carry the day, the committee’s five Liberals will now have to coax over to their way of thinking at least some of its opposition members—three Conservatives, two New Democrats, one from the Bloc Québécois, and Green MP Elizabeth May.
Maryam Monsef, the Liberal minister for democratic institutions, has been embarrassingly nonsensical on the issue, insisting that referenda are not necessarily democratic because . . . um . . . many people don’t participate?
Almost four in ten (37 per cent) strongly agreed with the statement that the Liberals should not change the electoral system without a referendum and 36 per cent somewhat agreed, for a total of 73 per cent in favour of a referendum.
It may just be that Justin Trudeau thinks he has enough sunny-ways political capital to push this through on his own terms. If he does so, over the objections of the other parties, it will stink of illegitimacy.
Neither this government, nor any other, has the moral right to change the electoral process without prior consultation through a referendum approved by the voters. As it is, after all, the people whose sovereign power of election is the essence of any democratic system.
Calgary MP Jason Kenney asked why the government would not commit to a referendum — something three provinces, British Columbia, Ontario and P.E.I., had done when proposing a change to the way elected representatives are chosen.
The Liberals stacked the deck and announced a committee giving them complete control over changes to our voting system. When they change the rules of democracy, everyone should have a say, Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose charged.