MP Cathy McLeod won’t be participating in a Sept. 12 town hall on federal electoral reform due to an overlapping caucus meeting in the Maritimes.
McLeod has been critical of the Trudeau government’s approach to changing the Canadian voting system, but indicated that’s not why she won’t be attending the town hall hosted by the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo electoral reform committee.
The group intends to gather public input and submit it to the all-party Parliamentary committee on electoral reform, which is expected to submit a report to the House of Commons by Dec. 1. The Parliamentary committee has been gathering input in Ottawa through the summer.
The meeting is Monday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m. at the parish hall of St. Paul's Cathedral, 360 Nicola St.
“I’m always interested in the opportunity to discuss electoral reform,” McLeod said Friday. “What British Columbia did was much more reasoned approach because what they did was they took the politicians out of it,” she said, referring to the Citizens Task Force on Electoral Reform, struck a dozen years ago.
The Conservative Opposition have maintained that electoral reform should be pursued only through a referendum mandate from voters. However, referendums on electoral reform in B.C. and other provinces have consistently failed.
McLeod noted earlier this month that the local electoral reform committee is being led by former federal Liberal candidate Murray Todd in a supposedly nonpartisan process. She expressed concern that the Liberals are attempting to rig the process and said she would be consulting with constituents on the issue among other matters.
Todd has maintained that the local committee is focused on electoral change as a means of reinvigorating voter participation, not as a political matter.
The group states that its objective is to promote proportional representation as a means of making every vote count. With the current, winner-take-all system, "all voters do not have an equal opportunity to affect the outcome of the election. Votes for a losing party are 'wasted,' and the effects are low voter turnout and voter apathy,"
The MP cites a riding survey she took that indicated 78 percent of residents in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo want a referendum on changing the voting system. At a meeting in the Cariboo earlier this week, she said that preference was unanimous among a group of 20.
It was also clear through community consultation this past week that people are focused on other priorities, McLeod said.
“My sense is, first of all, people are enjoying the end of summer. If they’re looking at priorities for the parties to focus on it would be issues such as the economy and softwood lumber, not reforming the electoral system.”
Richard Lung says:
August 27, 2016 02:10am