His way, or no way

Re: the letter 'Re-elected for a reason" by Richard McAdam

Mr. McAdam is acting as an apologist for the broken promise by Justin Trudeau that 2015 would be the last election under first past the post. McAdam states that the promise was broken for good reason, "Regarding the prime minister's change of heart regarding electoral reform, it was due to the lack of consensus among the parliamentary committee that oversaw the discussions that the plan was abandoned." 

MP Mark Holland, parliamentary secretary to former minister of democratic institutions Maryam Monsef, promised Canadians a consultation that was historic in its scope, and indeed it was. 

Despite its well-known flaws, the consultation included:

  • 173 MP town halls
  • Dozens of community dialogues hosted by citizens and 600 individual submissions
  • Five intense months of meetings by the electoral reform committee, most of which were open to the public and recorded on CPAC
  • A 22-stop cross-Canada tour by the ERRE committee, hearing from Canadians
  • Hundreds of top experts from Canada and around the world heard by the ERRE committee
  • A 19-stop cross-country tour by Minister Monsef
  • An online survey asking about preferences for specific electoral systems using ballots and clear descriptions, completed by 22,000
  • Mydemocracy.ca – advertised in a mailout to almost every household and completed by 360,000 Canadians

For five months, the MPs on the ERRE committee heard overwhelming evidence and heartfelt pleas from Canadians for proportional representation.

In breaking his promise, Trudeau thumbed his nose at the results of the consultation he authorized, on the pretence that there was no consensus. In reality, he broke his promise because this very well-executed process did not give him what he wanted, ranked balloting. 

In effect he said, "If I can't have my way, I'll take my ball and go home."

Daryl Sturdy, Vancouver

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