Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday October 21, 2016
Is Trudeau jockeying to avoid fulfilling promise on electoral reform?
Is Justin Trudeau laying the groundwork for reneging on his promise to make the 2015 federal election the last to be conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system?
Or is the prime minister trying to drive a hard bargain with the NDP and Greens to abandon their own ambitious preference for a proportional voting system and settle for a more modest change to a ranked ballot system?
Those questions were touched off Wednesday by an interview Trudeau gave to Montreal’s Le Devoir newspaper.
In it, Trudeau said major electoral reforms would require “substantial” support. But he simultaneously argued that the public clamour for change seems to have diminished since the Liberals defeated Stephen Harper’s Conservatives one year ago.
“Under the current system, (Canadians) now have a government they’re more satisfied with and the motivation to change the electoral system is less compelling,” he said.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair took that as clear evidence that Trudeau is preparing to break his promise on electoral reform.
“I do believe that Mr. Trudeau is showing the type of cynicism that he used to always decry when he was in opposition,” Mulcair said.
“What could be more cynical that to say, ‘You know what? This is a totally unfair system because it allowed Stephen Harper to get a massive majority with only 39 per cent of the vote,’ and then, exactly one year later, say, “Oh, but by the way, it’s a darn good system because it allowed Justin Trudeau to get a massive majority with just 39 per cent of the vote.’” (Source: Toronto Star)
Liberals taking a slippery out
RE: Trudeau wobbling on democratic reform (Oct. 21) Letter to the Editor, Hamilton Spectator Oct 26, 20016
The editorial and the arrogant cartooned caricature depiction of the PM say it all. Throughout his pre-election campaign, Justin Trudeau’s vigorous and repetitive promise to reform the electoral system left absolutely no wiggle room to backtrack. That was then, and now he appears to be sidestepping electoral reform to avoid wading through the dung of his seeming unattainable strategic voter enticement. Fortunately for the Liberals, unanimity being a condition for the all-party committee resolve leaves him and his Liberals a slippery out. All indications point to non-unanimity. All indications point to expectancy that the election of 2015 will not be the last using the first-past-the-post system. After all, the fit of first-past-the-post with a minority 39 per cent popular vote and a majority mandate now suits the prime minister, so why rock the boat?
M.J. Pavlov, Hamilton