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431-00094 (Democratic process)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

PETITION TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED

Whereas:

  • An Angus Reid poll conducted in September found that: 85% of respondents supported a Citizens' Assembly to deliberate on electoral reform; 79% agreed that a National Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform be formed after the 2019 federal election regardless of which party formed government; 90% agreed that parties should cooperate; and 80% agreed that parliament should reflect how people voted;
  • The distorted results from the recent federal election clearly illustrate the need for electoral reform;
  • An Angus Reid poll in November found consensus support for proportional representation from a majority of voters in every province, all age groups and all major political parties;
  • Citizens' Assemblies have been used successfully in Canada, Australia, Belgium, France, Ireland, Scotland and the U.K. to tackle difficult issues; and,
  • A National Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform would: give citizens a leadership role in determining electoral reform for Canada; provide meaningful deliberation on electoral reform by a representative group of citizens free from partisan influence and interests; build consensus for any recommended changes to our electoral system; and need to be established as soon as possible to allow time for their recommendations to be adopted before the next federal election.

We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada call upon the House of Commons in Parliament assembled to:

  • Establish a National Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform;
  • Require the Citizens' Assembly to complete its work within 12 months; and,
  • Adopt any recommended changes to our electoral system before the next federal election.

Response by the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Kevin Lamoureux

The Government of Canada is pleased to respond to this petition.

The Government of Canada is committed to improving and strengthening our democracy. Our electoral system (i.e., the fundamental rules determining how votes are translated into seats in the House of Commons) is one of the most foundational pieces of our democracy – at its core is a question of how we, as Canadians, govern ourselves. The Government’s view has been clear:  major reforms to the electoral system should not be made if they lack the broad support of Canadians.

In 2016, our Government consulted broadly with Canadians on electoral reform. In fact, the electoral reform consultations were among the largest and farthest-reaching consultations ever undertaken by the Government of Canada.

These public consultations included 57 parliamentary committee meetings that heard from 763 witnesses, 172 consultations undertaken by individual Members of Parliament, a cross-country Ministerial tour that made stops in 18 towns and cities across every province and territory, and online consultations that more than 360,000 people in Canada participated.

A clear preference for a new electoral system, let alone a consensus, did not emerge from these consultations. Consequently, the Government decided not to proceed with changing the electoral system.

The Government has taken steps to modernize the electoral process and to make it more accessible, transparent and secure. The Elections Modernization Act, which passed in 2018, represents a generational overhaul of the Canada Elections Act, allowing it to better address the realities facing our democratic institutions in the 21st century. The Government of Canada will continue to work to strengthen and protect our democratic institutions.

Presented to the House of Commons
Paul Manly (Nanaimo—Ladysmith)
February 19, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00094)
Government response tabled
April 11, 2020
Photo - Paul Manly
Nanaimo—Ladysmith
Green Party Caucus
British Columbia

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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