Progressive Canadian Party responds to
special parliamentary committee on electoral reform.
For Immediate Release May 12, 2016
Newmarket, Ont. - The Progressive Canadian Party believes that fundamental change to our democracy in Canada should be discussed by ALL registered political parties in committee, then considered through a Supreme Court of Canada reference on the outcome as to its constitutionality and meaning for Canadians, and followed by a national referendum on the result.
Fundamental change to our democracy, in which the new government has made an arbitrary choice to make 2015 the last election using Canada's system of Single Member Pluralities/Majority (SMP) elections in each riding, sometimes referred to as First Past the Post (FPTP), is too important to be the decision solely of a Special Committee alone dominated by the current government and approved by cabinet.
PC Party Leader, the Hon. Sinclair Stevens raised concerns that the process and the principles described by Democratic Institutions Minister, the Hon. Maryam Monsef, exclude our existing system of voting rights as a choice for Canadians and may favour political movements and parties over the democratic rights of Canadians.
Mr. Stevens suggested that if a Special Committee is to be struck to discuss these issues, all registered political parties should be consulted, especially since party representation is key to the principles outlined by Minister Monsef and that the virtues of our existing electoral system should be central to the national conversation rather than surrender to the view that "whatever is, is wrong." A new status quo centred on party and movements might well lead to priorities and elections concerned mainly with the interest of party and movements, creating governance by party oligarchies, while systems of ranked ballots might well serve the interest of party insiders only.
For these reasons, Mr. Stevens argued with the support of PC Party National Council, a wider discussion is necessary and if a Special Committee of political parties is to be struck in such an extraordinary way then all registered political parties should be consulted both within and outside parliament.
Mr. Stevens noted that this was the process engaged when the Standing Committee on Procedures and House Affairs consulted - but then ignored - all party consultation on Bill C-16, the fixed date election act which had such consequence for the 2015 election.
He stressed further that an all party Special Committee consulting all registered political parties should be followed by a Supreme Court of Canada reference concerning the constitutionality of any proposal made by the committee and that the proposal should then be the subject of a national referendum given the fundamental changes to Canada's democracy any such change would bring. The Charlottetown Accord in 1992 alone proposed change of similar consequence in recent memory.
For more information contact:
The Hon. Sinclair Stevens,
Leader, PC Party
PC Party candidate-of-record South Surrey-White Rock,
Electoral Reform Spokesman
Previous Party statements on the issue of Electoral Reform: