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Fooled by False Promises: Liberals up to their old tricks

Shayne D. Ward, a local youth, political activist and key organizer of the local rally in support of the National Day of Action for Electoral Reform responds to Prime Minister Trudeau regarding electoral reform

It seems not long ago that we were campaigning during one of the longest election periods in Canadian history. Each party released new platforms that were aimed at swinging people’s votes. Groups were encouraging strategic voting – “anything but Conservative” (ABC) was the motto.

The left was between Greens, New Democrats, and Liberals and feared that more Conservatives would be elected due to the unified right. Organizations such as Lead Now encouraged everyone to vote strategically, to vote Liberal. Why? Because Justin Trudeau promised that, "2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system."

On February 1, 2017, 471 days after the 2015 election, it was announced through the Prime Minister’s mandate letter read by Minister Gould that the government will not be moving forward on electoral reform.

Consider the results of the last two elections under our current electoral system:

  • In 2011, the Conservatives held a majority in the House of Commons with 166 seats, despite having only 39.6 per cent of the popular vote.
  • In 2015, the Liberals captured 184 seats, despite having only 39.5 per cent.
  • These false majorities in which a party with less than 40 per cent. of the vote holds 100 per cent.of the power are common in Canada. Electoral Reform seeks to correct this power imbalance, increase voter engagement and promote diversity in Parliament.
  • Let’s compare to other developed countries:
  • Of 35 developed OECD countries, only three have a first-past-the-post electoral system (United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States of America).
  • In terms of representation of women in national legislatures, Canada ranks 23rd of these 35 countries, with only 26 per cent. of our MP’s being women. The top 10 countries on this score and in terms of highest voter turnout, all use proportional representation systems.

I have invited MP Longfield, by email, to participate in our rally for Electoral Reform this Saturday. I have expressed through social media my concerns with this government’s lack of action on the promises that were made on the election trail (such as the MSM Blood Ban, and precarious and temporary youth unemployment). The reply from MP Longfield stated:

“My protesting against our government would not be helpful, but I will continue to be present to hear your concerns and pass them on. The focus will be on C33 in the immediate future, and input we have received on electoral reform will help us in these discussions.”

If you want electoral reform, now is the time to call your MP and to call the Prime Minister and let them know that they are failing Canadians. They made a promise, and they told us that this was a different Liberal Party, but all I see is the same old Liberals pulling the same old tricks. We were promised electoral reform, and we’re going to hold them to their word.

MP Lloyd Longfield (Guelph) [Liberal Party of Canada]
Constituency Office: 1 (519) 837-8276
Parliament Office: 1 (613) 996-4758

MP Michael Chong (Wellington-Halton Hills) [Conservative Party of Canada]
Constituency Office (Fergus): 1 (519) 843-7344
Constituency Office (Georgetown): 1 (905) 702-2597
Toll Free: 1 (866) 878-5556

MP Bardish Chagger (Liberal Party of Canada) [Waterloo]
Constituency Office: 1 (519) 746-1573
Parliament Office: 1 (613) 996-5928

MP Raj Saini (Liberal Party of Canada) [Kitchener Centre]

Constituency Office: 1 (519) 741-2001
Parliament Office: 1 (613) 995-8913

MP Marwan Tabbara (Liberal Party of Canada) [Kitchener South-Hespeler]
Constituency Office: 1 (519) 571-5509
Parliament Office: 1 (613) 992-1063

MP Bryan May (Liberal Party of Canada) [Cambridge]
Constituency Office: 1 (519) 624-7440
Parliament Office: 1 (613) 996-1307

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau (Liberal Party of Canada) [Prime Minister of Canada]
Parliament Office: 1 (613) 995-0253