Thursday, June 02, 2016

Liberals Back Down on Electoral Reform

The Liberal government has done the right thing and has decided to give up its majority on the electoral reform committee. It's a pretty big concession that responds to the main criticisms of the opposition parties.

The Trudeau government has given up control over the process that will determine how best to change the way Canadians vote, hoping to dispel perceptions that it’s trying to rig the electoral system to benefit the ruling Liberal party.

Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef announced two major concessions Thursday.

The Liberals will give up their majority on the all-party committee that is to explore alternatives to the current first-past-the-post voting system.

And Monsef also opened the door to an eventual referendum, leaving it up to the committee to advise on the best way to consult Canadians on whatever alternative voting system it winds up recommending.

I worry that these changes might lead to a referendum result in which the voting public succumbs to a natural resistance to change. We saw that in British Columbia. People feeling insecure about the effect of change can choose to stick with what they know, first past the post, flaws and all. 


Ben Burd said...

Being a total cynic that believes that the Libs are no better than the Cons I can easily believe that this machination cames out of the PMO headed by sleazy Butts - the man not the arsehole although the two are intertwined most of the time.

Nice try by the Libs - they got caught and lost a little Political Capital that they have now doubled down on by appearing to be magnaminous.

The Mound of Sound said...

It sounds good, Ben, but I'm wondering if the Libs think they'll be able to get enough Conservatives to accept the inevitable and back the preferential ballot option to avoid a pure pro-rep outcome.

Ben Burd said...

The other shoe dropped today - a graceful exit by the Libs. If they can't get ranked ballots then they don't want anything. So what do they do - make hints about a referendum designed by Butts et al (they fucked up the last one in Ontario so they know how to rig a referendum)and it goes down.

Election promise fulfilled and the result they want - no PR

The Mound of Sound said...

I can't argue with your conclusion, Ben. I do wish I could. Can't.

Northern PoV said...

Alternate headline

"Libs step up on Electoral reform'

perspective is a wonderful thing.