Attached is a letter I have sent to Maryam Monsef, Minister for Democratic Institutions, in response to a letter she sent me last month:
Dear Ms. Monsef,
I would like to respond to your letter to me dated Nov. 23, 2016. In your letter you state:
“Some see this as an opportunity to modernize our voting system and build one that provides a stronger link between the democratic will of Canadians and the election result, one that motivates Canadians to take part and one that reflects our collective values of fairness, inclusiveness, gender equity, openness and mutual respect.”
As I retype your words, I see you used the word “some,” suggesting you do not share these views. The electoral committee has done their work and they have presented you with a road map on “modernizing our voting system” that builds in all of the issues you have stated here. For “some” reason your Liberal government has rejected the committee’s findings.
Why then are you putting Canadians through another useless exercise, fraught with misleading questions? I will suggest a few reasons: you would like to stall on this file because your government does not want to move forward on changing our outdated electoral system because it benefits your party, not the citizens of Canada. You want to appear like you have consulted Canadians even though the questions used are not clear. Your letter also states, “Parliamentarians will need to set aside narrow partisan interests…” I suggest it is your party that is clinging to narrow partisan interests by not accepting the report. You also state, [there should be] “thoughtful and substantive dialogue with each other and citizens.” What are the ways you have tried to inform and engage the citizens of this country about electoral reform? What kind of “leadership” have you shown?
I suggest that by sending a postcard inviting them to answer carefully worded questions that deliberately mislead people is underhanded and disrespectful. There are no straightforward questions about proportional representation, voter equality or types of electoral systems on this survey.
If you truly care about voter turnout, do the right thing and implement proportional representation as suggested by the committee.