When we asked readers to help guide our election coverage, they wanted us to explore a potentially game-changing promise made — and abandoned — by the Liberals in 2015.
We summarized the question this way.
“The Liberals won after promising to reform our first-past-the-post voting system. Instead they killed the reform. But did they? What advocacy have people been doing and what are politicians’ promises this time around?”
Here’s how we answered.
We wrote about the positions of the two major parties — the Greens and the New Democrats — still pushing for electoral reform.
Tom McMahon offered Tyee readers a deep look at the way those parties were handling of the issue, concluding that they were too timid in promising change. Then we followed up with where the Liberals stand on the issue four years later.
And we concluded with profiles of four advocates who plan to keep the dream of proportional representation alive after Monday’s vote.
The issue of electoral reform resonated with our readers and resulted in thousands of shares of and hundreds of comments on our reporting on the issue.
Based on the feedback, most of you would like to see a change in the way we vote. And if that’s an important factor when you head to the ballot box, here’s where the main national parties stand on electoral reform based on their 2019 campaign platforms.
- The Liberal Party of Canada platform does not mention electoral reform, and neither does the Conservative Party of Canada platform.
- If in the unlikely scenario that it wins the election, the New Democratic Party of Canada pledges to introduce mixed-member proportional representation “that works for Canada, and we will do it in our first mandate in government.” The NDP will also establish an independent citizen’s assembly to “recommend the best way to put [PR] in place for the next election to ensure both local representation and a federal government that reflects the voters’ choice of parties. “Once Canadians have the opportunity to experience the new voting system and compare it to the old one, we will hold a referendum to confirm the choice,” the NDP promises.
- What the Liberals said they would do in 2015, the Green Party of Canada intends to follow through with four years later by ensuring that the “2019 election is the last ‘first past the post’ election.” The Greens are hoping for a Liberal minority government in which they have enough influence to ensure the March launch of a national citizens’ assembly on electoral reform. Its mandate would be to make recommendations to Parliament on an electoral system that would “make every vote count.” Legislative changes to implement the recommendations would occur before the 2023 federal election, the party says.
If, as expected, Monday’s election results in a minority government, electoral-reform supporters could see their dream of proportional representation advanced in Parliament.
Read more: Election 2019