Monday, December 05, 2016

Brexit surprise ahead for Trudeau Liberals if they break electoral reform promise

The Trap of Broken Promises

We’ve seen in the UK, USA and now Italy, just how out of touch ruling elites are with the discontent bubbling below the surface of their citizens.

And now Canada’s newly minted Prime Minister is apparently starting to substitute his election victory for the deeply-held desire by many citizens for significant electoral reform, before the next election.

Here’s one example of a pollster who is out of touch with the distemper of the times:

There are doubts the government will keep its election campaign promise to replace the first-past-the-post electoral system by 2019, but pollsters say one broken promise on electoral reform alone would unlikely sink the Liberal ship, however, more than one could be trouble down the road.

“If you’re looking at this through the political cost of inaction of breaking this promise, it’s probably one of the few that the government won’t feel too much pain over,” said David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data, in an interview with The Hill Times.

“This is not a government-killing promise, by itself,” he said, as it’s an outspoken, but “small minority” who think major changes are needed.

The issue of electoral reform is one that’s “very difficult to get Canadians excited” and “passionate” about, he said.

Anyone who believes this nonsense should join the lineups that want to find out why Cameron lost his job, Clinton never had a chance, and why Italy is seeking a new leader right now.

People want promises kept, not excuses made.

The Liberal Party promised meaningful electoral reform, to make every vote count, and the end to the first past the post system before the next election. And Canadians will hold them to that promise.

Just wait and see.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

PM Trudeau summed up by Chantal Hebert on electoral reform

Here’s the devastating article she wrote on how the Liberals, lead by Justin Trudeau, have mismanaged the election commitment to electoral reform:

As for the Liberals, they have managed to turn a secondary policy front into a field of ruins.

With the logistical clock ticking on moving to a different voting system in time for 2019, the government waited eight months to set up a process to follow up on the prime minister’s election promise.

It never articulated a set of principles that might guide its management of the file.

The Liberals went into the debate with a known preference for a ranked ballot but could not be bothered or could not find a critical mass of intervenors to advance that option.

The Liberal committee members ended up rejecting the time frame set by their own leader to achieve a reform as unrealistic and the notion of a more proportional system as too radical.

In all the years that I’ve covered Parliament, I’d never heard a cabinet member dismiss a major committee report as contemptuously as Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef did in the House on Thursday. (She subsequently apologized for the choice of words, but not the substance of her arguments.)

At the end of this week, it is not just Justin Trudeau’s word on electoral reform that can be construed as not having been given in good faith but also his commitment to run a government that has a minimum of consideration for the work of parliamentarians — including those who toil on its backbench.

Well said, Chantal!
PM Trudeau has promises to keep. Important promises. I cannot visualize Trudeau senior screwing up his Charter of Rights & Freedoms initiative in the same way that the electoral reform initiative is being mishandled.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

PM Trudeau should immediately replace Minister Monsef to ensure reform

Or was it bait and switch?

PM Trudeau solemnly assured voters during the election campaign that the last election as the last one under the archaic first past the post system of choosing MPs.

And now the junior minister tasked with carrying out this solemn promise is showing signs of a lack of drive in the process:

Canada may not have a new system for electing governments by 2019, despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise voters would never again use the current system.

Democratic Reform Minister Maryam Monsef on Sunday refused to guarantee her work so far on the file is leading to reform that will be in place by the next general election.

That work has included striking a committee to study potential alternatives to the current first-past-the-post system that the Liberals promised to replace before the next election. The committee’s report is due this week.

Trudeau should immediately take minister Monseff off this file and parachute in some heavyweight minister to inject the necessary urgency into this process, so as to ensure that within months our system is changed to a system where every vote is counted, and every vote counts, and the old FPTP system is scrapped.

Electoral reform to remedy our democratic deficits is far too important to Canada than many other government initiatives.  Trudeau’s reputation rests on delivering on his solemn promise to Canadians.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Are the Liberals being honest with Canadians over electoral reform?

It seems that Andrew Coyne doubts this (my bolding and underlining):

A third point where the government’s devious slip is showing: electoral reform, and the public consultations in which a special parliamentary committee has been engaged these past several months. There is no debating this: as a matter of public record, the overwhelming majority of the representations made to the committee, whether from experts or members of the public, favoured some form of proportional representation. Yet the Minister of Democratic Institutions, Maryam Monsef, in what can only be described as an attempt to gaslight the committee, maintains that the consultations revealed “no consensus” on the way forward, while the government readies a separate consultation process, developed in secret, with which to cast doubt on the committee’s findings.

If Coyne is correct, then there is a separate process being held by the Liberal government, apart from the publicly launched, publicly supported, and “official” process now taking place.

I hope that PM Trudeau is paying close attention to the electoral reform process. His future as a one-term versus several-terms prime minister depends on his government being  honest, and delivering meaning electoral reform, with no more elections being held under the archaic first past the post system.

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