Tuesday, June 27, 2017

HuffPo Calls "Bullshit" on Trudeau on Electoral Reform Promise

The title of the piece speaks volumes: "Trudeau Blames Opposition For Not Reading His Mind on Electoral Reform. The prime minister could have been honest with Canadians."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looked reporters in the eyes Tuesday morning and told them he had "no path" to keep his campaign promise on electoral reform because none of the other parties wanted his preferred option: a ranked ballot.

Trudeau, however, never campaigned on bringing in a ranked ballot. (That's a system also known as a preferential ballot or an alternative vote, in which voters rank their first, second and third choices, and votes from the last-place candidate get redistributed until someone emerges with 50 per cent of the vote. The Conservative Party of Canada recently used a modified version of a ranked ballot to elect its new leader.)

Except, there was a path. Trudeau could have told the truth.

The prime minister could have been honest with MPs and with Canadians and said during the campaign that he wanted a preferential ballot. He could have saved taxpayers millions of dollars — in committee travel costs, ministers' travel costs and for a $2-million "mydemocracy.ca" survey — for public consultations that he didn't intend to pay attention to.

Instead, he chose to make a political ploy of letting Canadians — many of them NDP and Green party voters — believe he was open to a proportional voting system that would give their parties a stronger voice in the House of Commons.

"The promise was clear," May said. "It did not say there is only one system we will consider after the election," May said.

"Ranked ballot does not make every vote count," she contended. "Quite the contrary, it distorts it even more.

"I don't want to use the words cynical because it could be naive, it could have been ill-considered, it could have been thoughtless, it could have been hasty, it could have been many things other than cynical, but the reality is, it did not tell Canadians the truth about what the prime minister was willing to bring in."

Now I know it offends the LPT, or Liberal Purity Test, to criticize fair Justin for his pattern of shameless breaking of solemn promises but, bugger that, I'm no Liberal. Those decades are of the past.

And don't pretend that this is an affront to a progressive government. There's damn little that's progressive in Justin Trudeau's government. Progressive is more than an empty word. It has meaning. It is founded on some pretty basic principles and, while this government may pay lip service to those principles, it does precious little of substance to honour them.


Gyor said...

Justin keeps digging himself deeper and deeper, there are so many contradictions on all the things he's said.

If Preferial Ballot is what he wanted aside from the fact that is what he should have run on, but didn't as he knew it wasn't as popular as MMPR, he could have made a deal with the opposition that the electoral referendum would have PB as a choice too, so the choices would have been status quo, PB, or MMPR, and ironically he could have made a the electoral reform referendum ballot a PB.

Instead he wasted millions of dollars and MPs time, mislead people and then walked away when he realized the people don't want PB.

I will say Liberals loved PB for absolutely cynical reasons, they believe as the "centre" it'll make it easy to soak up compromise votes on both the left and right making it still easy to win majorities.

The Mound of Sound said...

Gyor, you and I have disagreed on many things but, on this, we're pretty much agreed.

Lorne said...

I was struck by the same hypocrisy as I watched Trudeau 'explain' his broken promise on electoral reform. True, we may go against the progressive alleged 'orthodoxy,' but I never did favour group-think, as I've said before.

Anonymous said...

I just heard Junior on CBC radio explaining why killing of an ISIS member from a distance of 3.5 km is not a combat. A vivid imagination of a drama teacher is really helpful is his role.
The cliche "how to recognize that a politician is lying - his lips are moving" seems to be eternal. I do not envisage awakening of electorate from the eternal coma either. Sunny days are here to stay - for politicians...

Anonymous said...

Progressive is more than an empty word. It has meaning.

Yup, and the word "progress" is right there in the word. Sticking to the outmoded FPTP system, which for 150 years has disproportionately favoured the Liberals, is not only cynically breaking an electoral promise, it's the opposite of progress.


The Mound of Sound said...

I don't know if you noticed it, Lorne, but there's a certain hesitancy in Trudeau's speech when he's bullshitting. It's as though he's unsure whether he'll get away with it - again.