Tell your Liberal MP to Vote Yes to PR
On May 31, the House of Commons will vote on a motion to “concur in” the report of the all-party committee on electoral reform. This will be a free vote. The NDP, Green, and Bloc are expected to vote yes. With the votes of just 20 Liberal MPs, the motion would pass.
If the motion passes, it becomes a resolution of the House, restarting the important conversation on the promise to make every vote count in 2019.
Before the last federal election, these MPs told Fair Vote Canada in our pre-election questionnaire that they support proportional representation. Some other Liberal MPs have supported PR in the past – including those who voted yes in 2014.
Fair Vote Canada recently commissioned local polling in 20 Liberal ridings asking if constituents support proportional representation and if they want their MP to stand up in the House to advocate that the government keep its promise and deliver PR for 2019. Over 15,800 people
- 68% of decided participants would prefer “a system where the percentage of seats a party has matches the percentage of the votes that they receive”
- 74% of decided participants are “in favour of a system that would make every possible vote count toward representation”
- 70% of decided participants want their Liberal MP “to advocate in the House of Commons that the Liberal government keep its promise, and change our system to proportional representation in time for the next election”
What You Can Do
Join others in your riding before May 31 to make sure your MP knows that constituents want him/her to stand up for making every vote count. Sharing time and skills, we can have a big impact!
Call or Visit Your MP
Call or visit your Liberal MP on your own. You can find your MP’s constituency office phone number here. Identify yourself as a constituent and tell your MP why you want him/her to vote yes to proportional representation on May 31!
Write a letter to the Editor
Help make others in your community aware of the local polls, the upcoming vote, and especially that constituents want your MP to keep the promise by sending a letter to the editor of your local paper.
The all-party committee on electoral reform (ERRE), which conducted hundreds of public meetings, heard evidence from citizens and experts overwhelmingly in favor of proportional representation. This replicates 13 other commissions in Canada.
On December 1, the all-party committee on electoral reform released its report. Key recommendations in the majority report:
The Committee recommends that the Government should, as it develops a new electoral system, use the Gallagher index in order to minimize the level of distortion between the popular will of the electorate and the resultant seat allocations in Parliament. The government should seek to design a system that achieves a Gallagher score of 5 or less.
The Committee recommends that, although systems of pure party lists can achieve a Gallagher score of 5 or less, they should not be considered by the Government as such systems sever the connection between voters and their MP.
Observation: The Committee acknowledges that, of those who wanted change, the overwhelming majority of testimony was in favour of proportional representation. The Committee recognizes the utility of the Gallagher Index, a tool that has been developed to measure an electoral system’s relative disproportionality between votes received and seats allotted in a legislature, as a means of assessing the proportionality of different electoral system options.
The Committee recommends that:
- The Government hold a referendum, in which the current system is on the ballot; That the referendum propose a proportional electoral system that achieves a Gallagher Index score of 5 or less; and
- That the Government complete the design of the alternate electoral system that is proposed on the referendum ballot prior to the start of the referendum campaign period.
The Liberals on the ERRE committee issued a supplementary report in which they called proportional representation “radical” and “hasty” and recommended the government not fulfill its election promise.
The NDP and Green parties issued a joint supplemental report in which they suggested two systems outlined in Fair Vote Canada’s submission to the ERRE: Mixed Member Proportional and Rural-Urban Proportional (which can include STV as part of the design). They also expressed reservations about a referendum.