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431-00189 (Democratic process)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to Lloyd Longfield, MP for Guelph

Whereas:

  • Electoral reform was a comerstone of the current government's electoral campaign and this promise was contained in the Speech from Throne;
  • 63% of Canadians voted for a party promising to end the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) voting system in the 2015 federal election;
  • The Special Committee on Electoral Reform recommended the government move forward with a proportional representation (PR) voting system;
  • The Prime Minister recently announced that the government would not fulfill its promise to make the 2015 federal election the last under FPTP;
  • A multi-partisan group of Guelph Citizens have proposed a PR voting system that addresses the Prime Minister's concerns.

Therefore, we the undersigned supporters of electoral reform, call on the government to:

  • Keep its promise to make the 2015 federal election the last under FPTP.
  • Introduce legislation to implement Local Proportional Representation.
  • Present a timeline for the implementation of Local Proportional Representation in time for the 2019 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, the 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 in which more than 360,000 people in Canada participated.

The Government of Canada would like to thank all Canadians who took part in these consultations.

The Government listened to Canadians carefully and gained valuable insights into Canadian democracy. Canadians cherish their democracy and value the direct connection they have with their Member of Parliament (MP). Canadians want their parliamentarians to work with each other and to cooperate on policy. They want their government to be accountable. They want their MPs to act in the interests of their constituents. The Government agrees.

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.

Our work did not stop there. The Government also took 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.

The first-past-the-post system has served this country for over 150 years and advances multiple objectives and principles that Canadians hold dear, such as strong local representation, stability, and accountability.

Presented to the House of Commons
Lloyd Longfield (Guelph)
May 14, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00189)
Government response tabled
July 20, 2020
Photo - Lloyd Longfield
Guelph
Liberal Caucus
Ontario

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

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