Cross-partisan support for a referendum!
Politicians and commentators of all political stripes are calling for a referendum. In fact, it seems that just about the only people who are against a referendum now are sitting Liberal MPs!
Here are just a few of the names to speak out recently:
Rona Ambrose (Conservative)
When you change the rules of democracy, everyone gets to have a say. If the Liberals want to make a fundamental change to our country’s voting system, the process must not be dominated by one political party’s interests. A committee comprised of a select number of parliamentarians studying electoral reform is not, and never will be, a substitute for all Canadians having their voices heard directly. This Liberal committee scheme is simply a vehicle through which they can impose their own pre-determined agenda without any meaningful way to restrain them.
Bill Tieleman (NDP)
How we vote in a democracy is a fundamental question requiring Canadian voters to give their approval through a binding referendum because it will affect every election in a way far more important than any budget or policy decision.
Ujjal Dosanjh (Liberal)
Any change to the electoral system can’t be a partisan endeavour. It has to be a nation-building project. If the Trudeau government wants to remain true to its commitment to democratic electoral reform it has only two options. Either it must seek and find interparty agreement on the proposed changes and approve them with a unanimous or near unanimous vote in the House of Commons. Or it must place the proposed changes before the people in a nationwide referendum.
Scott Reid, M.P. (Conservative)
I have been advocating a referendum on this subject since 2001, for a reason that I stated years ago, and still strongly believe: If politicians are left in charge of designing a new electoral system, they will be unable to resist the temptation to choose a system which will, based on the dynamics of Canadian voter behaviour, have the effect of benefiting the party in power.
Warren Kinsella (Liberal)
There are ten reasons I can think of, off the top of my head no less, why they are wrong to ram this through, as they seem intent on doing.
Michael Taube (Conservative)
This is an unbelievably foolish strategy. You can’t strongly support a democratic principle, and then implement it in the most undemocratic fashion imaginable. By doing so, this important exercise in improving Canada’s flawed electoral system has already been defeated at the starting gate… Here’s my advice to the Liberals. Hold a referendum on electoral reform, and let the Canadian people decide. It’s the democratic thing to do.
Tim Harper (Toronto Star)
The Liberals will consult Canadians in a “thoughtful and thorough process” through an all-party committee, Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef maintains, but it is difficult to see how a fundamental change in the way we choose government can be put in force without a referendum.
Mark Bonokoski (Toronto Sun)
Despite outcry from the opposition, threats of a Senate blockade, and constitutional experts and editorialists urging them to reboot their thought process, the Liberals will change our electoral system essentially by coup, using their majority as a truncheon and locking out the public as if inconsequential to the outcome of their unilateral treachery.