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The New Brunswick Liberal Party has voted to back a Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform at their provincial policy convention. Submitted by the Young Liberals Association, Fredericton South Silverwood and Fredericton Grand Lake and moved by Vivian Unger (image left, with New Brunswick Liberal Party leader Susan Holt), the resolution reads:

BE IT RESOLVED THAT a Liberal government convene a representative citizens’ assembly on electoral reform with a guaranteed minimum number of Indigenous participants within one year of forming government, or advocate for such an assembly if not in government;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT this citizens’ assembly will be run by a nonpartisan organization, independent of government direction and interference, tasked with recommending an electoral system for New Brunswick at the provincial level, and proposing a process and timeline for implementation, with potential consideration of municipal level reforms;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT a Liberal government collaborate with other parties in the Legislative Assembly to ensure timely implementation of reforms, and if an incremental approach is adopted, will work to maintain momentum beyond the first step.”

Read the full text of the resolution.

The motion passed 85-51

It will now be the official policy of the New Brunswick Liberal Party.

Today’s vote at the New Brunswick Liberal Party’s convention sends a clear message that it’s time to reignite the conversation about ditching our unfair first-past-the-post electoral system in New Brunswick.

New Brunswick Liberal Party leader Susan Holt has been supportive of moving forward with electoral reform. During the party’s leadership race, Holt stated that she would support a Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, and would move forward quickly with its recommendations.

As she told media after her leadership win, “I’m very interested in changing our electoral system, I think that’s one of the things that contributes to the fact that people feel disconnected from the government, because we are represented by people who received 30% of the votes.”

Vivian Unger, who moved the resolution, stated:

“I’m so happy that the New Brunswick Liberals passed this motion. There was plenty of opposition, but it wasn’t enough. I’m grateful to everyone who voted in favour, and to the amazingly large number of people who came up and congratulated me afterward. I think we’re seeing the emergence of a bolder and more progressive Liberal Party of New Brunswick. It’s just what we need. I’m very much looking forward to seeing a citizens’ assembly on electoral reform become a plank in the party’s election platform.”

A Citizens’ Assembly brings together a representative group of citizens to study the evidence for different electoral systems, hear from fellow citizens, deliberate, and recommend the best path forward for New Brunswick. More information about citizens’ assemblies can be found here.

In the last provincial election, 39% of New Brunswick voters chose the Progressive Conservatives, but first-past-the-post handed them 55% of seats in the Legislative Assembly. 


Fair Vote Canada is a national citizens’ campaign for proportional representation. We support a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, as well citizens’ assemblies on electoral reform at the provincial level. 

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