(Ottawa) Three days of debate on the orientations of the Liberal Party of Canada (PLC) began Thursday afternoon, while the formation has been in power for more than seven years and must make sure to charm voters at the expense of the Conservatives by Pierre Poilievre.
Thirty or so resolutions that could make their way into the Liberals’ next election platform will be debated by activists gathered in Ottawa, who are also invited to a host of round tables and conferences.
“The conversations you’re going to have here this weekend are critical to not only choosing the future of the party, but helping to choose the future of the country,” Prime Minister and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said at members of his party attending one of the first conferences, that of the Indigenous Peoples Commission of the PLC.
Mr. Trudeau arrived at the Liberal National Convention shortly before 2 p.m., eager to shake hands with supporters. He then made his brief appearance at the Indigenous Peoples Commission roundtable, emphasizing the importance of reconciliation to his political formation.
The Liberal leader, who is blowing out 10 candles at the head of his party this year, seemed determined to whip up the motivation of his troops. He must deliver a speech, in the evening, in front of all the activists gathered.
On the menu of resolutions that will be debated and voted on over the weekend, we find proposals such as making voting in federal elections compulsory and reviving the idea of electoral reform.
When taking power for a first term in 2015, Mr. Trudeau promised to review the voting system, a promise he then quickly dropped.
LPC Ontario member Peter Brennen said he was “disappointed” when the commitment was shelved. On Thursday, he was handing out flyers urging members to vote in favor of the electoral reform resolution.
“(Right now) a party wins 40% of the vote and gets 60% of the seats in Parliament, whether it’s Conservative or Liberal. […] This is not a democracy,” he told La Presse Canadienne.
The resolution for which he is campaigning proposes the creation of a “nonpartisan national citizens’ assembly on electoral reform”.
Mr. Brennen, who says he is a voter who often changes the party he gives his vote to, believes that a voting system that includes “some form of proportionality” would further encourage citizens to vote.
The National Liberal Congress will end on Saturday. On Friday, the former US Secretary of State and former Democratic candidate who faced Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, will be present to address members of the PLC.