Justin Trudeau's response to Proportional Representation
Canadian Electoral Alliance's active member David Gamble wrote to Liberal leader Justin Trudeau on NDP Craig Scott's motion on Proportional Representation, December 19, 2014:
Email To: Trudeau, Justin
I was exceedingly disappointed to see that you voted NO on this issue. The proportional representation plan would democratise this country further for the future of our children. You are probably only too aware of the majority government that had less that 40% of the popular vote that is in control, lamentably, today.
I just wanted to thank you for writing to the office of Justin Trudeau regarding electoral reform and the recent motion from the NDP; please know that I have passed along your letter to both Justin and our Policy Team. I also wanted to take a moment and address your concerns.
At our Biennial Convention in February, Liberal delegates from across Canada passed a resolution calling for an all-party study to report to Parliament on multiple issues directly related to electoral reform, including, but not limited to, the preferential ballot system and some form of proportional representation. With regards to electoral reform, it is important to take an evidence-based approach, rather than an ideological one, that considers all available options. Unfortunately, the motion put forth had a singular emphasis on proportional representation, and as a result, is inconsistent with the resolutions recently passed by Liberal member. It is important that any discussion or motion into electoral reform does not have its outcome pre-assumed, and locked in.
Mr. Trudeau believes that it is important to take an evidence-based approach to electoral reform rather than an ideological one, and that all available options are considered. Further, he does not support proportional representation, as he very deeply believes that every Member of Parliament must represent actual Canadians and Canadian communities, not just the political party that appointed them to the House of Commons. He also believes that it is important to take an evidence-based approach to electoral reform rather than an ideological one, and that all available options are considered.
For example, when Mr. Trudeau ran to become Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, he introduced his Democratic Reform Policy to help ensure more meaningful and effective representation in Canada’s electoral system. This leadership race was unique and one of the most open contests in Canadian history, as non-party members were allowed to cast a vote and the traditional “first-past-the-post” system was replaced with a preferential ballot to give Canadians a greater amount of choice. In that system, voters rank the candidates in their order of preference, and the eventual winner must receive over 50% of the votes. If used during the general election, this would ensure that MPs secured support from a majority of the constituents, and beyond his or her traditional voting base, leading to a more representative government. Options such as a Preferential Ballot system are important to also consider, so as ensuring that a variety of reforms are presented.
Thank you again for writing to us and I hope this has helped to clarify the issue.
Special Assistant, Operations and Outreach
Response from David Gamble:
Thank you for your fulsome reply. I do hope consideration is given to the two ballot system: one for constituency and one for party. I believe it will be a progressive step toward an enhanced representation for the citizenry.