The issue of electoral reform in Canada is not new: political scientists began to point to deficiencies in our system in 1960! Several governments, both federal and provincial, have already examined the matter and done extensive research. Electoral reform was also one of the key topics raised during the last federal election, on several occasions.
On May 10, after six months of waiting, the Liberal government finally proposed a plan to begin the electoral reform process in Canada. In the initial motion tabled in the House of Commons, the Minister of Democratic Institutions announced the creation of a special parliamentary committee to study electoral systems in depth (once again!). The committee was to be made up of 10 members of Parliament; 6 Liberals, 3 Conservatives and 1 New Democrat. The Green Party and the Bloc Québécois would have be entitled to one member to assist at the committee, but that member wouldn't be entitled to vote. The Liberals had given themselves unfettered control over the outcome of the debate and the ability to dictate the terms of future reform. To know more, click here.
UPDATE: After weeks of political claim, New Democrats have secured a significant victory for Canadians in the process of electoral reform. The Liberal government has voted in favor of the NDP's plan to make reforming our electoral system a fair, inclusive process based on cross-party collaboration. The NDP motion establishes a committee to study future voting systems that represents all parties in Parliament and does not give an advantage to any single party.
Since last June, the committee had 23 meetings and listened to 54 experts. Many subjects were discussed, but one thing has been crystal clear : our electoral system is broken and doesn't represent fairly citizens voices. We have to fix it. On September 19th, the committee has launched a coast to coast to coast 3-week consultation. The members shall present their final report on December 1st. To know more about the Committee study, click here.