Three local candidates who were defeated in the last federal election teamed up today to press the government to honour one of its election promises.
Darryn Davis explains.
During the last federal election campaign the Liberal party’s platform included electoral reform.
But earlier this year — when an all party committee released its report on the subject — the Liberals put the issue on the back bench.
Now, some past candidates are trying to get the issue on the front-burner.
“If you’ve gone door to door the way we all have you hear about electoral reform over and over again. When the public speaks to you it’s our job not to ignore it.”
Former candidates from the Green party, Conservatives and the NDP put aside political differences to call on M.P. Mark Gerretsen and the federal government to revamp the election rules.
“If you’re going to pull together on an issue, electoral reform and how we elect our representatives this is the time to do it.”
Electoral reform would benefit smaller parties, like the greens.
They typically poll between 5 and 10 per cent support nationally, but only hold one seat in parliament.
“Our system is broken, that it promotes apathy and pessimism about the political process because yeah if your a green voter for example your vote often doesn’t count.”
Fair Vote Kingston organized the media conference.
“Mark Gerretsen needs to hear that this matters – that a fair voting system matters and having our votes accurately reflected in government matters.”
“Electoral reform supporters say their magic number is twenty. That’s the number of Liberal M.P.’s that would have to vote along with the opposition parties to move the report forward in the house of commons.”
Gerretsen says he supports electoral reform but has issues with some of the recommendations.
” The problem with the report is that it specifically talks about proportional representation which I don’t think is the only solution, but most importantly it talks about a referendum.”
Something Gerretsen doesn’t support.
If parliament votes down the report, it will also be voting down prime minister Trudeau’s goal of making 2015 the last first past the post election.
Darryn Davis CKWS news Kingston.