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Working together to elect strong advocates from all parties into positions of power is crucial.  

It’s never been more important to our movement to elect an NDP leader with a firm commitment to implementing proportional representation as the top priority of a new government.

 

Together, we can raise the profile of PR in this race and elect a leader passionate about fair voting heading into the 2019 federal election. The movement for PR needs party leaders who will

Use their leadership position to actively raise the profile of PR over the next 2 years.

Commit to PR as a first priority upon forming a government.

Make PR a condition of supporting a minority government.


Note: Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) is the official policy of the NDP. In the NDP and Green Supplementary ERRE Report, they recommended two systems: MMP and Rural-Urban Proportional. All leadership candidates mention electoral reform as broken promise of the Liberal government. This section will note any significant mentions of PR as a priority in their leadership platforms, debates and media. 

What the candidates are saying:

Niki Ashton

Website:

Under “Issues”:

“As leader of Canada’s NDP, I will introduce legislation to change our First Past the Post electoral system to a Mixed Member Proportional system with open regional lists within the first mandate of an NDP government. ” 

Full text: http://www.nikiashton2017.ca/make-every-vote-count/

Under “We Must” on the first page (bullet point 9/14):
“Champion electoral reform and true proportional representation.”

Debates:

March 26/2017 debate – question on a preferred system:

“Proportional representation but making sure there’s regional weight. I share a similar story coming from part of the country that shares a similar story (referring to Caron’s comment) coming from a part of the country that feels forgotten in many ways…” 

August 2/2017 debate – question on how the candidates would advance electoral reform and build public support to implement it:

“Well, first of all, I think it’s very important when it comes to electoral reform we acknowledge that Justin Trudeau lied to Canadians. And it’s clear to me that there’s a lot of people out there who are frustrated, that are angry about what he’s done to break that promise, many of whom are young. And I just want to point out that in the next election the largest voting block will be the millennial generation, a generation for whom electoral reform and proportional representation really matters. So yes, I think the NDP needs to be at the forefront of pushing for electoral reform and proportional representation, but I think we need to be working with folks like young people, activists in social movements, working with communities that are often on the margins, indigenous communities, racialized communities, immigrant communities, working to engage people who want their voice to be heard politically in a big way and are often ignored. That I believe is the way forward and very much acknowledging that it’s only the NDP that can champion electoral reform truly going into the next election.”

Meetings:

July 26/2017 meeting in Armstrong BC (filmed by a supporter) – answered a question on electoral reform:

“Putting forward legislation early on in our mandate would be critical. And I believe in the next election we have an incredible opportunity because not only did Justin Trudeau not implement it, the electoral reform he committed to, he also lied to Canadians, so we can certainly point to that as a commitment that I believe will be effective in the next election. Many have been quite frustrated with this broken promise, I know many young people as well, and I believe we have to continue to campaign on the issue but I believe, but also point to the way the current government let us down.”

 


Guy Caron

Website:

“Electoral Reform Will Be the First Act of a Caron Government

Guy Caron’s plan has four elements:

Once elected NDP Leader, electoral reform will be a firm commitment by the NDP in the next election.

Once elected, the first bill introduced in the House by the NDP will change our voting system by establishing a Mixed-Member Proportional system with regional lists.

After two electoral cycles under the new system, a referendum will be held so that Canadians can weigh in on, and ratify the new voting system.

In case of a minority government following the 2019 general election, electoral reform will be a prerequisite for any potential alliance.”

Media
http://ipolitics.ca/2017/06/06/leadership-candidate-guy-caron-says-ndp-support-in-a-minority-would-hinge-on-electoral-reform/

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/06/05/guy-caron-ndp-leadership-electoral-reform_n_16958928.html

Debates:

March 26/2017 debate – question on a preferred electoral system:

“Proportional representation with regional lists. I come from a region which is actually afraid of proportional representation because it’s spelled of losing power to the cities. If we have regional list we’ll ease those concerns.”

June 11/2017 debate – opening statement:

“And this week, I announced I would implement electoral reform.”

June 11/2017 debate – question on what would be your first piece of legislation:

“As Prime Minister, my first piece of legislation would be to implement electoral reform, Mixed Member Proportional. We need to send that strong signal that unlike the Liberals who have reneged on that promise, that we will do it and that will be our priority.”

August 2/2017 debate – question on how the candidates would advance electoral reform and build public support to implement it: 

“It’s very simple. I think people here know that I’ve not only called for electoral reform to be a main issue of the NDP because we’ve been fighting for this for so long. The problem we are facing is that fact that, frankly, is that Liberals never had any intention of implementing electoral reform. I think we all realize that. They sabotaged any effort to move in that direction once Parliament resumed. The fact is, because of this, there is some kind of a broken trust between the federal government and the people who really want this new system.

So, to assure people that we know this is needed, we mean what we’re saying, we need to ensure that people know it’s a priority, and this is why I said that the first bill that will be tabled by an NDP government federally will be electoral reform and a proportional system, mixed proportional, with regional lists. And if we have the balance of power it needs to be a condition for any support for the party in power.”


Charlie Angus

Website:

Under “policy“:

As leader and Prime Minister, Charlie will replace the unfair first-past-the-post electoral system and tighten rules governing the behavior of elected officials and lobbyists.

What Charlie will do

  • Reform Canada’s electoral system by bringing in a mixed-member proportional system.

    Charlie will build on the hard work done by New Democrat MPs in the last year and ensure that Canada’s unfair, first-past-the-post electoral system is finally replaced with a mixed-member proportional system. As Prime Minister, Charlie will put forward enabling legislation in the first six months of an NDP government, including a provision for a referendum after two elections, and appoint an all-party task force to decide on the specifics of the new system.”

July 19/2017: Charlie Angus releases a video on his position on electoral reform, in response to this campaign:

“I guarantee as leader of the NDP that I will make electoral reform a priority, one that reflects the regions of our country, one that makes sure that Indigenous people of our country have representation in the House. As an NDP government, I guarantee in the first six months we will be moving on electoral reform in a serious way and making sure our Parliament is accountable to people, that it is more democratic, and it is more inclusive.” 

Watch the video here:

https://youtu.be/QKQV67ihc00

Debates:

March 26/2017 debate – question on a preferred system:

“We need to win a majority so we can bring this in. Because let’s not kid ourselves. If we win a minority we can be nice and talk to the Liberals all we want and nothing will change. So what model we bring in, I don’t really care, but I want that model in. From this process, we have to get the majority to get it.”

 


Jagmeet Singh

Website:

Under “policy” (added approximately September 17, 2017):

“Jagmeet is passionate about this issue, and that’s why he committed to electoral reform in his launch speech and was pleased to fill out the questionnaire from Fair Vote Canada…”

“a Jagmeet Singh-led government will – as a first priority – establish a Mixed- Member Proportional system with regional lists.”

Campaign Launch Event:

Named four priorities and electoral reform was one.  “The NDP is not abandoning our commitment, we will repair our electoral system and assure every vote will counts.

Debates:

June 11/2017 – opening statement: “As a New Democratic Prime Minister, I would stand up against climate change, I would stand up for electoral reform….”

June 22/2017 – in response to a question about lowering the voting age to 16: “But also, we need to tie that into electoral reform, to ensure that their voice is actually heard in Parliament, so I would tie those together, younger voting age with electoral reform.”

August 2/2017 debate – question on how the candidates would advance electoral reform and build public support to implement it: 

“I think what’s at stake here is really the democracy of our country. And when we look the current system, the current electoral system, it’s not truly representing the voice of the people. And so it’s a fundamental element of our democracy to improve it, and people wanted it to be improved, and our current Prime Minister betrayed the trust of people. We need to make sure that’s clear. So the path forward is one, we need an education around what does it mean to have electoral reform, and particularly proportional representation, that it would give voice to the people, it would give power to the people when they make a vote, when they vote, their voice would be reflected in Ottawa. The problem is that what we saw in a referendum in Ontario is that without education, without providing the understanding of why this would benefit people, people didn’t actually support the referendum. So we need to frame this as a way to bolster our democracy, as a way to protect against things like Harper and right wing agenda coming forward and people getting power with minimal or less than a majority of support from Canadians. “

 


Note on this initiative:

Fair Vote Canada is a multi-partisan organization.  We actively support leaders in every party who champion PR.

In 2013, we encouraged our supporters to back Joyce Murray – the only pro-PR candidate in the Liberal leadership race. While she came second, our support DID make a difference. She outperformed most of the other candidates. She injected PR into the Liberal leadership debate, challenging Justin Trudeau about it on stage and demonstrating the widespread support among the public for PR. The support for her campaign was one of the factors behind the Liberal Party’s 2014 resolution to consider proportional representation.