Protestors raise voice for voting reform

The protesters were joining a country-wide National Day of Action initiative

Mel Arnold

A group of Kelowna protesters braved the cold temperatures Tuesday to hold Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “feet to the fire” in his commitment to bring electoral reform to Canada.

The protesters were joining a country-wide National Day of Action initiative organized by Leadnow Canada, labeled as “Make Every Vote Count.”

The protest was sparked by an electoral reform survey (Canada.ca) released by the Liberals which has drawn scorn and ridicule from opposition party MPs and their constituents.

Wayne Broughton called the survey not well designed and leaving the impression at least for him that the Liberals want to maintain the election status quo.

“We are not to happy with what was designed and released to the public,” Broughton said.

“We expected more, for the Liberals to listen to the recommendations of the electoral reform committee (which recommended proportional representation as a new electoral model to be voted on through a national referendum) and to move forward with it rather than what appears to be trying to resist it.”

The town hall forum, hosted by Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal MP Stephen Fuhr, was attended by about 150 people.

Fuhr said the Liberals remain committed to electoral reform, and are doing some “hard trudging” forward on what is a very divisive issue among Canadians.

Mel Arnold, Conservative MP for North Okanagan-Shuswap, says his party believes a referendum should be held to make a final decision electoral reform, and a question related to that aspect  should have been included on electoral survey.

“I have taken the questionnaire myself twice now and I find it laughable as a means of gathering information,” said Arnold.

“There is no indication on the survey if people want to stay with the current first past the post system or go to proportional representation or rank ballots. I’m disappointed those choices aren’t there. And how the survey is being mocked is an indication of how half-baked this program and process has been.”

 

 

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