Electoral Reform – open mandate or subject to Supreme Court reference & referendum? Australian example?
Tuesday, 29 December 2015 14:32
Electoral Reform – open mandate or subject to Supreme Court reference & referendum?
Australian mandatory voter participation? Repeal fixed dates?
The Progressive Canadian Party
For Immediate Release December 29, 2015
Newmarket, Ont. - Progressive Canadian Leader the Hon. Sinclair Stevens reacting today to the new Liberal government's intention to change Canada's electoral system based on public consultations and a parliamentary vote in a majority government questioned the legitimacy of the process.
Mr. Stevens pointed to the Australian practice of mandatory voting and repeal of the ill-considered fixed date election law which offends the Canadian principle of responsible government.
"High voter participation rates in Australia are encouraged by mandatory voting, with allowance for special exceptions. Repeal of the fixed date election law would restore accountability to government, as the Progressive Canadian Party indicated in its submission to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs when Bill C-16 was tabled," Stevens said. "Bill C-16 was the Harper government's amendment to the Canada Elections Act which introduced fixed date elections in Canada but limited the ability of the Opposition to hold the government to account."
"If there is to be change to the electoral system, it should be intended to restore the integrity of our system rather than change it fundamentally because special interests and advocacy groups think they will benefit. Democracy and the constitutionality of any change must be foremost in mind", Stevens said.
"Fundamental change to how we elect Members of Parliament to the Parliament of Canada requires more than consultations which are sure to be dominated by interest groups favouring one system or another. A majority government is not a mandate to change democracy in Canada. Canadians deserve to know that any change proposed will not constitutionally challenge their democratic rights", the former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister and Progressive Canadian Party leader said.
"A Supreme Court of Canada reference on the constitutionality of any proposal, like that Canadians demanded of the Harper majority government on Senate Reform, and a referendum on such fundamental change is expected in a democracy today."
"We deserve also to know that change for the sake of change or to serve special interests and party politics is not being forced on us and on Canada", Stevens concluded.
The Progressive Canadian Leader stated that the PC Party will shortly issue a statement on electoral reform to restore the integrity of our first-past-the-post system some have questioned.
-30-For more information contact:
The Hon. Sinclair Stevens,
Leader, PC Party
PC Party candidate-of-record South Surrey-White Rock, 2015
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 December 2015 09:57