Tuesday, December 15, 2015

On blockages

Yes, Bill Tieleman, you've left no doubt that people who are opposed to electoral reform generally are also in favour of a needless and convoluted referendum process to try to block it.

But for the many of us who don't see "no change" as the desired end result, there's every reason to hold the Libs to their explicit promise that this year's election would be the last under first past the post. And contrary to Tieleman's spin, the Libs were entirely clear (PDF) as to how and when the alternative would be developed:
We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.

We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting.

This committee will deliver its recommendations to Parliament. Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.
In other words, unlike many of the Libs' promises, the commitment to electoral reform leaves no room for delay or backtracking. And so we should be working toward all-party consensus on how to build a better system to be passed in accordance with the Libs' specific timeline - not making excuses to refuse to try to build one at all.

[Edit: Fixed wording.]


  1. Anonymous10:06 p.m.

    So much for democracy. But, since democracy doesn't get us what we want, let's act unilaterally. Justin Trudeau should keep his word and act like Steven Harper by introducing an omnibus bill buried within which is an act to impose preferential balloting. It was, after all, the voting system of choice he said he supported before and during the election.

    1. I've reproduced above the Libs' entire platform plank on electoral reform. Trudeau's promise was to consult through a Parliamentary committee and introduce legislation as a result, period - and this is an issue where I see the other parties' time being far better spent working with that process (and hopefully influencing it so Trudeau can't claim that a lack of consensus allows him to do whatever he wants) than trying to obstruct it.

  2. Oh, Greg. Why do you anticipate excuses when none has been given? Are you troubled by recent polls revealing Trudeau almost as popular with NDP voters as Mulcair? Is fighting the good fight what matters, not the outcome? Do you really want to go into the next election with an even older leader when his vintage has been passed over?

    Greg, the New Dems need leaders much like yourself. Do run. We've turned a page in this country. The NDP can't change that.

    1. I'm not anticipating excuses, but in fact explaining why the Libs should be expected to keep a promise - which would be the case regardless of what other diversions you want to raise.