The Barrie Examiner

In early June, I wrote about electoral reform and how important of an issue it was.

I asked residents for their opinion and received hundreds of mailed back responses to a survey I sent out.

When asked if they favoured changing Canada’s electoral system, 70% of Barrie-Innisfil residents answered either “No, current system” (42%) or “Maybe, minor changes only” (28%).

Of the 30% who wanted to overhaul the system the overwhelming majority (86%) preferred a system of proportional representation.

This does not surprise me. It is clear to me those who want a new system strongly believe in the concept of proportionality whereby 39% of the votes equals 39% of the seats.

It is also clear Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef does not see it that way.

When testifying before the Electoral Reform Committee she was repeatedly asked for a simple answer on whether she believed in the principle of proportionality. She would not answer yes or no, only to offer “I think it’s (the principle) an important one to discuss.”

There is only one party who holds more seats in the House of Commons than their percentage of votes warranted and that is the Liberal party.

In fact, if the last election had been held under a pure proportional model the Liberals would have 50 less seats and a minority government.

However, if the last election were held under a ranked/preferential ballot, the system the prime minister covets, the Liberals’ 39% share of the popular vote would have translated into winning a whopping 66% of the seats in the House of Commons, further exasperating the ‘false majority’ narrative.

I want to be clear, I am not advocating for any particular system, nor am I calling for a change to the one we have. Currently, there are 193 different electoral systems in the world and this is a complex issue with wide reaching consequences.

The Liberals have consistently crafted the storyline that our system must be changed and have hoodwinked proponents of change to believe this means proportional representation.

Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have already made up their minds on what type of system they will approve and it isn’t proportional representation. No amount of pretend “consultation” is going to change that and the exercise itself is a classic bait and switch.

They are selling Canadians on a crisis within our democracy that largely does not exist. Those who are buying it are directed to focus on the necessity to change the way we vote, at any cost, for the sake of change itself.

Make no mistake; the Liberals will not erode their advantage in parliament. On the contrary, their intention is to adopt a system benefitting them the most.

Regardless of the Liberals’ game plan, 93% of Barrie-Innisfil respondents to my survey agree Canadians must have the final say in a referendum before we change the way we elect MPs. Our system belongs to the people of Canada.

No political party, no government and no individual should be able to change our voting system without the approval of Canadians first.