| August 17th, 2015Tags: , , , , , ,

 

The following post was prepared and posted on his campaign web site by Marlo Raynolds, Liberal candidate for the Banff-Airdrie Electoral District. The original blog post (reposted with Marlo’s permission) is here

People want their vote to count and their voice heard.

With Canadians thrown into an early summer election, people are starting to have conversations at the dinner table about their voting options. Many of those conversations are about peoples’ desire to have a Parliament that actually reflects the way all Canadians voted, not one that reflects a single party winning only a minority of votes but getting the majority of seats and all the power.

People want their vote to count and their voice heard.

The outcome of electoral reform, if it takes the form of proportional representation, or PR, would significantly change the face of Parliament by more accurately reflecting how we vote. In Alberta, for instance, a form of PR in the last federal election would have given the Conservatives 19 seats instead of the 27 they achieved under the existing “first-past-the-post” system. The NDP would have won five seats instead of one, the Liberals would have gained three seats instead of none, and the Greens one instead of none.

Recent redistribution of electoral ridings mean that the next federal election will increase the number of Alberta MPs to 34 from 28.

It is time to restore and modernize our democracy, for which many Canadians have fought.

This is why the Liberal Party is committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system. As part of a national engagement process, we will ensure that electoral reform measures – such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting – are fully and fairly studied and considered. This will be carried out by a special all-party parliamentary committee, which will bring recommendations that will allow Parliament to take action before the next federal election. Within 18 months of forming government, we will bring forward legislation to enact electoral reform.

My personal view is we need to evolve our electoral system to be inline with the vast majority of democracies around the world – one which results in the proportion of votes cast for each party to result in a similar proportion of power and seats in the House of Commons.

But we need to design a voting system that works for Canada. A system that Canadians understand and is recognized to be fair. This will take work.

If elected as the Member of Parliament for Banff-Airdrie, I will start by hosting a series of facilitated dialogues across the riding to develop our local view on how to ensure we restore trust in our democratic process and decision making in Ottawa.

The idea of PR, and how it could affect Canadians, is complex. But it’s an important and timely issue. The more we understand it, the better the consultation process – and recommendations – will be. And the better you’ll feel about voting.

It’s time for Real Change in electoral reform and the Liberal Party – working with Canadians – will get it done quickly, openly and fairly.

I encourage everyone to start their research both with Fair Vote Canada and the Liberal Party’s position. And of course, I am very interested in directly receiving your feedback, just email me or give me a call.