Progressive Canadian Party responds to Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform
Thursday, 12 May 2016 10:31

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.
 

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For more information contact:
The Hon. Sinclair Stevens,
Leader, PC Party
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
1-888-666-3821
 
Brian Marlatt
PC Party candidate-of-record South Surrey-White Rock,
Electoral Reform Spokesman
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Skype
 
Previous Party statements on the issue of Electoral Reform:
http://pcparty.org/index.php/component/content/article/168
http://pcparty.org/index.php/component/content/article/169
http://progressivecanadian.ca/index.php/component/content/article/170
 

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 May 2016 11:32
 
Progressive Canadian Party responds to Justin Trudeau Liberal proposal for Senate Reform
Tuesday, 19 January 2016 22:54
Progressive Canadian Party responds to Justin Trudeau Liberal proposal for Senate Reform

For Immediate Release January 20, 2016
Newmarket, Ontario -
The Progressive Canadian Party responded today to the Justin Trudeau Liberal proposal for an Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments.

The Advisory Board proposed is to consist of five members, a federal chair, two other federal members and two ad hoc provincial or territorial members from the province or territory where a vacancy is to be filled.  Broad consultations with interest groups are proposed for a transitional period, at least, and recommendations are not binding on the prime minister who will continue alone to nominate Senate appointments to the Governor General representing the Queen in right of Canada.

Subsequent to the transitional period, an open application process is to be established whereby persons can apply, or presumably be recommended, to the Advisory Board for appointment to the Senate.

The proposals are claimed in the new Liberal government’s public announcement to provide  nonpartisan and merit-based independent appointments even though the prime minister will continue to nominate appointees and interest groups will be consulted by the Advisory Board.

The Progressive Canadian Party believes that the Liberal government proposal, while it may be well-intentioned, fails to be nonpartisan or merit-based.  Further the PC Party believes the proposal fails to provide a process by which excellence and knowledge of governance necessary to the Senate’s role as a revising chamber of government legislation and regulation is provided and further that it risks transforming the Senate into a partisan House of the Provinces by giving to the provinces new constitutional powers to advise in the appointment of Senators at a cost to national unity.

Further, the proposals made through the new Minister of Democratic Institutions fail to answer the question “Who appoints the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments and how is the appointment of the Advisory Board independent, nonpartisan and merit-based?”

No less than the Harper government proposals for Senate reform, the new Trudeau government proposal effectively rewrites the principles of Canadian federalism and the Canadian constitution, albeit in a different way, by looking to provincial and partisan constituencies or interest groups to advise in the appointment of the Upper Chamber in the Parliament of Canada.

The Progressive Canadian party has long proposed that future nomination of Senate candidates to the Governor General should come from the nonpartisan Queen’s Privy Council.  The QPC exists within the constitution to advise the GG as the Queen’s representative.  The QPC consists of all present and former prime ministers and cabinets, former Supreme Court justices, diplomats, other distinguished Canadians, and leaders of the Opposition or premiers on invitation.

The Minister of Democratic Institutions is the president of the Queen’s Privy Council but does not have the power to choose the members whose standing derives from acknowledged records of public service.  Patronage, partisanship by party or special interest, potential provincial sectarianism, and unconstitutional abolition are avoided.  Excellence, merit, and knowledge of governance, service, become the standard. The constitutional standing of appointments by the Governor General of Canada on the advice of the Queen’s Privy Council, out of which the convention of prime minister’s advice ultimately derives, is not in question and provides a truly independent advisory board for Senate appointments.
 
What is more, the Gordian knot is cut. The question of who appoints to the independent advisory board is answered, the Queen’s Privy Council represents earned merit, experience, knowledge of government instead of being appointed by current federal government or amendment of the constitution to give the provinces new powers to intrude in federal authority of Parliament or the powers of the Governor General.

The Progressive Canadian party calls on the government of Justin Trudeau and the new Minister of Democratic Institutions to adopt this solution within the powers of the Queen’s Privy Council and the constitution of Canada to the vexed problem of Senate Reform.

Addendum

References:
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For more information contact:
The Hon. Sinclair Stevens,
Leader, PC Party
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
1-888-666-3821
 
Brian Marlatt
PC Party candidate-of-record South Surrey-White Rock, 2015
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Skype
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 08:28
 
Electoral Reform - restoring Integrity to First Past the Post. The Progressive Canadian Party.
Monday, 18 January 2016 12:29

Electoral Reform - restoring Integrity to First Past the Post
The Progressive Canadian Party

For Immediate Release January 18, 2016
 
Newmarket, Ont. - Progressive Canadian Leader, the Hon. Sinclair Stevens, and the PC Party today issued a statement on measures the PC Party National Council see as important to restoring confidence in the integrity of Canada's electoral system as a strongly preferred series of measures if Canadians are to continue to elect Members of Parliament to the Parliament of Canada, not parties or movements or followers of unaccountable party leaders.
Electoral Reform:
        - Repeal Bill C-16, the fixed date election law that neutered the Opposition and tightened party control by all parties and party leaders, including the Prime Minister's Office.

        - Elections Canada should be empowered to establish and moderate pre-writ period and writ period spending limits per party and per candidate.  Elections should be about who we elect in each riding to be Members of Parliament in the Parliament of Canada, not about parties and money.

        - If there is to be electoral reform it should end selection of constituency candidates controlled without cause by the corporate political party and party leader.

        - Taking party names off of the ballot, which first occurred in the 1970s in Canada, would better encourage selection of Members of Parliament as constituency representatives.

        - Resist pressure to submit to party proportional representation urged by PR advocacy groups.
Regional minority disenfranchisement leading to separatism, ending Canada's parliamentary democracy by the people represented in parliament to favour control by party oligarchies are characteristics of all PR systems - these are fundamental changes to the very nature of parliament.

We must also respectfully advise the new prime minister of Canada, the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, that the system of ranked ballots that he is said to prefer personally, while admirably suited to small groups like clubs and party conventions is not suitable to elections to the Parliament of Canada.
 
A campaign promise to make 2015 the last first-past-the-post (fptp) election in an election defined by voter intention to remove this government's predecessor is neither binding or a mandate to change how this country is governed; indeed, the intention of the previous government to do just that by other means was their undoing.

A Supreme Court of Canada reference is necessary on the constitutionality of any proposal brought forward for such fundamental change to Canada's democracy, with or without public consultation in citizen assemblies or other means.  Even if any such proposal to change Canada's parliamentary democracy fundamentally is found to be constitutional, it is not enough to be within the basic law of Canada.  Such fundamental change would require the further endorsement of a large majority of the citizen's of Canada, no less than did the Charlottetown Accord.
 
Our electoral system, freed of distortions of earlier electoral reforms is clear, simple, and democratic - unlike the alternatives, which are arbitrary, and commonly blindly party partisan.

We elect Members of Parliament to the Parliament of Canada, not parties, movements, or prime ministers.


Reference: Electoral Reform - open mandate or subject to Supreme Court reference & referendum? Australian example?

              : Electoral Reform - restoring Integrity to Canada's Electoral System, A Statement for Discussion by Canadians. 

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For more information contact:

The Hon. Sinclair Stevens,
Leader, PC Party
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
1-888-666-3821
 
Brian Marlatt
PC Party candidate-of-record South Surrey-White Rock, 2015
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Skype

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 09:56
 
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.

 

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For more information contact:

The Hon. Sinclair Stevens,
Leader, PC Party
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
1-888-666-3821
 
Brian Marlatt
PC Party candidate-of-record South Surrey-White Rock, 2015
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Skype

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 December 2015 09:57
 
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