Now is the Time to Get on with Proportional Representation
Parliament must seize the day: Ed Broadbent
By A Correspondent
After many years of study and debate, Broadbent Institute Chair Ed Broadbent, on August 29, urged members of the special parliamentary committee on electoral reform (ERRE) to work together to seize the historic opportunity to develop a made-in-Canada proportional representation system.
“Canadians have been discussing electoral reform for decades. Indeed, more than a dozen committees, commissions and assemblies have studied it, and all have recommended some form of proportional representation. It’s time to get on with it and have a new system in place for the 2019 election,” said Broadbent.
He added: “Let’s stopping throwing up roadblocks to reform couched in concerns over process. I’m a staunch democrat and I firmly believe that now is the moment for Members of Parliament to come together and fix our broken electoral system.”
The committee is tasked with studying alternative voting systems to replace the first-past-the-post system. The Liberal government has promised to scrap first-past-the-post before the next federal election and has asked the committee to assess how options could advance the principles of effectiveness and legitimacy; engagement; accessibility and inclusiveness; integrity; and local representation.
“Hands down – almost all experts have said that a PR system with local representation best meets these principles. In fact, other options being bandied about would likely exacerbate the problems of first-past-the-post and be at odds with key priority principles identified by the government,” said Broadbent, who has worked on electoral reform for years as a former parliamentarian.