(Ottawa) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau does not expect his government to reform the electoral system in the short term, despite the fact that members of his party have called for the establishment of a citizens’ assembly non-partisan national forum to examine the issue.
This weekend, Liberal Party members voted in favor of a resolution calling on the government to create a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.
The proposal notes that the idea has been on the party’s books since 2014 and that Mr. Trudeau won the 2015 election on a promise to end the current first-past-the-post system.
He also confirmed reports that the NDP tried to fit electoral reform into the deal it struck with the Liberals last year, but the two parties could not agree on the use of a preferential voting system or proportional representation.
Mr. Trudeau still favors a preferential ballot, but argues that it would not have been fair to impose this system on Canadians using the majority his government had in the House of Commons from 2015 to 2019.
“The reality is that there has never been a consensus around this,” he however immediately nuanced.
He therefore implied that his government had no intention of following up on the resolution adopted by the partisan base of his party.
“I emphasized with our NDP partners that I was open to taking up the issue and bringing in a preferential vote, but they made the choice, we all made the choice together, to focus on progressive issues to Canadians.
“As I said, I will always be open to improving the voting system, but I refuse to let just one party do it. We need different parties to agree to make such a significant change, ”said the Prime Minister.