Asking questions about alternative voting systems

Kamloops MP says electoral-reform process is ‘a mess’

Cam Fortems – Kamloops This Week

Both a local critic and skeptic of electoral reform agree the chances of voting a new way federally in 2019 is getting slimmer with release of a committee recommendation and subsequent criticism by a federal cabinet minister.

“I thought this was the best opportunity we had in years,” said Murray Todd, who organized a local effort to provide input into the federal Liberal study of electoral change.

That came after Liberal Leader and now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised before last year’s election it would be the last time Canadians voted in the traditional first-past-the-post system.

A committee dominated by opposition members recommended a national referendum that would place first-past-the-post against an alternative favoured by the Liberal government.

The minister responsible, Maryam Monsef, blasted the committee for failing to come up with an alternative voting system — something for which she later apologized.

“I don’t know how you come back again two years down the road or with another mandate,” Todd said.

“He [Trudeau] was the new broom.”

Instead of sweeping change, Todd fears the confusion and acrimony over the issue gives Trudeau “a way out.”

Canadians are set to receive an invitation in the mail to participate in an online survey on electoral reform, a survey Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod said she has been told is “leading and unscientific.”

McLeod and other Conservatives have been skeptical of change and have demanded a referendum.

“Right now, I don’t have a clue what they’re doing … It’s a mess,” she said.