FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 19, 2017
In the 2015 Canadian election, the Liberal Party platform called for 2015 to be the last election held under First Past the Post. True to their word, the December 2015 Speech from the Throne committed that in this session of Parliament, in order to ensure that every vote counts, 2015 would be the last election held under the outdated majoritarian voting system, known as First Past the Post.
Following the commitment in the platform, the former minister for Democratic Institutions, the Hon. Maryam Monsef, put forward a proposal to the House of Commons to strike a Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform. Her innovative proposal brought all Parliamentary parties into an intensive process to review the research and political science literature, hear from experts from Canada and around the world, as well as engaged citizens in every province and territory of Canada. The report on the Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform was tabled on December 1, 2016.
The committee report represents a substantive and substantial contribution to the many studies conducted in Canada since the first occasion when a parliamentary committee considered electoral reform in 1921. Since that time, studies in many provinces, as well as reviews federally, have all concluded that Canadian democracy would be enhanced by a move to a voting system that ensured the way Canadians vote is reflected in the composition of our parliament.
The parliamentary committee recommendation is for a voting system that maintains the link between Canadian citizens and a locally representative MP while eliminating the risks posed by majoritarian systems (such as First past the Post and Ranked Ballots under FPTP) of severe electoral distortions of the will of the voters.
We congratulate the newly appointed minister, the Hon Karina Gould, and urge her to move to implement the key recommendation of the parliamentary committee and move to a system of proportional representation for the next federal election.
Maude Barlow – National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians.
Robert Bateman – Canadian painter and artist. Officer of the Order of Canada (1984).
Arthur Black – Canadian humorist and former CBC radio personality.
Ed Broadbent – Former Member of Parliament and Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada (1975-1989). Companion of the Order of Canada (2001).
Deborah Campbell – Award-winning writer known for combining culturally immersive fieldwork with literary journalism in places such as Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Gaza, Qatar, the UAE, Israel, Palestine, Cuba, Mexico and Russia. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, the Economist, Foreign Policy, the Guardian, New Scientist, Ms., The Walrus and other publications.
Raffi Cavoukian – Canadian singer-songwriter and author, founder of the Centre for Child Honouring. Member of the Order of Canada.
Jean-Pierre Charbonneau – Former President of the National Assembly of Québec, former Minister for the Reform of Democratic Institutions of Quebec, founder of the States-General of the reform of the Democratic Institutions that took place in 2002 and 2003. Journalist and advocate with Mouvement Démocratie Nouvelle.
Wade Davis – Former Explorer in Residence at National Geographic, best-selling author, Professor of Anthropology and BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. Member of the Order of Canada (2015).
William Deverell – Lawyer, civil rights advocate, screenplay writer and award-winning author of best-selling Arthur Beauchamp series.
Katie Gibbs – Founder of Evidence for Democracy.
Guy Giorno – Former Strategist for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, fellow at the University of Toronto School of Public Policy & Governance. Lawyer and Partner at Faskin Martineau. Chair of the “Law of Lobbying and Ethics” committee of the Canadian Bar Association.
Capt. Charles Trevor Greene – writer, journalist, and former officer in the Seaforth Highlanders of the Canadian Forces.
Sarah Harmer – Canadian singer/songwriter and activist.
Bill Henderson – Lead singer/songwriter of Chilliwack. Member of the Order of Canada (2015).
Alex Himelfarb – Former Clerk of the Privy Council and former Secretary to the Cabinet, and Canadian Ambassador to Italy, Albania and Sn Marino (2006-2009).
Jean-Pierre Kingsley – Chief Electoral Officer, Elections Canada (1990-2007).
Georges Laraque – NHL veteran, sports commentator and former Green Party of Canada Deputy Leader.
Jici Lauzon – Québécois actor, singer and comedian.
Claire Martin – Former CBC The National meteorologist.
Monia Mazigh – Author and Human Rights Advocate.
Gord Miller – Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (2000-2014).
The Hon, Nancy Ruth, C.M. – Former Conservative Senator. She founded several women’s organizations in Canada, including the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, the Canadian Women’s Foundation and a women’s studies chair at Mount Saint Vincent University. Member of the Order of Canada in 1994.
David Suzuki – Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist. Companion of the Order of Canada.
R.H. Thomson – Canadian television, film and stage actor. Member of the Order of Canada.
Ronald Wright – Historian, novelist, essayist and an award-winning author, most notably of A Short History of Progress (2004).
Neil Young – Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, producer, director and screenwriter. Officer of the Order of Canada (2009).