To the editor:
In October 2015, along with many Canadians, I voted for change. One of the key issues for me was Prime Minister Trudeau’s campaign promise that our 2015 election would be the last first-past-the post election. Needless to say in February 2017, I was extremely disappointed when he reneged on that promise and the recommendations of the Electoral Reform committee report. I had hoped that the issue of electoral reform would be back on the table when there was a motion to be voted on in the House of Commons on May 31. I was hopeful that our MP Stephen Fuhr would vote in favor of the report and was disappointed when he voted no.
He stated in your article that he voted no because the report recommended a referendum and that was a deal breaker for him. This was an understandable concern. Seventy-one per cent of the experts who testified to the Electoral Reform Committee and had an opinion on a referendum advised it was not the best course of action. However, the government is aware that the only parties who want a referendum are the Conservatives and the Bloc. The Liberals, NDP and Greens (representing 63 per cent of voters) all expressed deep concerns about a referendum from the beginning and in their supplemental reports. PM Trudeau expressed early on that a referendum is not the best way to achieve electoral reform.
Mr. Fuhr was also quoted in your article as saying that “You can’t cherry-pick. This was an all-or-nothing proposition.” As I suspect he knows, a majority government is not compelled to adopt every recommendation in a committee report. When the Liberals received the report on doctor assisted dying, the subsequent legislation did not include all of the recommendations.
The intention of the motion on May 31 was to give Liberal MPs an open vote and an opportunity to represent constituents on this issue and show their desire to re-open a discussion of their campaign promise. I will look forward to seeing how Mr. Fuhr will demonstrate his own campaign commitment to advocate for electoral reform prior to the next federal election. He failed dismally on May 31 on that commitment.
Debbie Hubbard, Kelowna