“If the Liberals are serious about keeping the promises they made to Canadians in 2015, they will vote in favour of the parliamentary committee report.” — Larry Brown, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)
Ottawa (25 May 2017) — On May 31, the House of Commons will be voting on the report of the special committee on electoral reform. This report recommends that the government move ahead with electoral reform to make our elections fairer. If the House of Commons adopts the report, it will create pressure on the government to bring in electoral reform.
Current system creates artificial majorities
Under Canada’s current electoral system parties can win a majority of the seats in Parliament without getting a majority of the votes. In fact, it’s possible to get a majority of the seats with less than 40 per cent of the vote.
That happened in the last 2 elections. Both Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and Stephen Harper’s Conservatives won majorities, with the support of fewer than 4 in 10 voters.
Canadians want a fair electoral system
The House of Commons special committee on electoral reform found that Canadians want a fairer electoral system. People told the committee that a party should get a majority of the seats, when it gets a majority of the votes.
The committee’s recommendations reflect what they heard. In its report, the committee recommends that an electoral system be developed that ensures the percentage of the seats each party wins reflects its share of the vote. The committee also recommended that any electoral system retain local representation.
Liberals need to keep their promise
During the last election, the Liberals promised an electoral system that would make every vote count. They said, “we are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.” They said an examination of which reforms to introduce would be “carried out by a special all-party parliamentary committee, which will bring recommendations to Parliament on the way forward, to allow for action before the succeeding federal election.”
On May 31, the House of Commons will vote on the report of the all-party parliamentary committee the Liberals talked about in 2015.
“If the Liberals are serious about keeping the promises they made to Canadians in 2015, they will vote in favour of the parliamentary committee report,” said Larry Brown, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE).
Let your MP know how you feel
If MPs hear from constituents, they are more likely to vote in favour of the parliamentary committee report. To find out who your MP is and how to contact them go here.
As well, Fair Vote Canada, a non-partisan organization pushing for electoral reform, is organizing teams to encourage MPs to support the report of the parliamentary committee. Here is information on how to get involved.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. ~ NUPGE