Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: A Twisted Path to Electoral Reform

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: A Twisted Path to Electoral Reform

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: A twisted path to electoral reform

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An editorial from the Toronto Star, published Nov. 14:

The Trudeau government's path toward reform of Canada's electoral system keeps getting more and more convoluted.

The latest twist is that voters will be asked in December to take an online survey about how they feel about democracy and voting - just after a committee of MPs is due to submit recommendations on the same subject.

That's left the MPs, who spent weeks touring the country holding hearings on electoral reform, wondering exactly what all their work will be worth.

If the government is going to consult Canadians directly, instead of relying on the research and conclusions of the committee it entrusted with that task, what was the point of the whole exercise?

If anything, the survey should have been carried out as part of the committee's work, under its supervision. That way the results could be incorporated into its recommendations.

But as things stand, the government plans to mail postcards to every household later this month to find out how voters feel about how they elect members of Parliament.

Some 13 million postcards will go out, encouraging people to go to a website (mydemocracy.ca) starting on Dec. 1 and fill out a survey about democracy and the voting system.

That's the same date the committee of MPs is to produce its conclusions and recommendations. The timing, says Conservative MP Scott Reid, "raises the question of what was the purpose of having the committee at all."

It just adds to the confusion surrounding the government's attempt to fulfill its ill-thought-out campaign promise to make the 2015 federal election the last one to be conducted under the so-called first-past-the-post system. …

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