Electoral reform blues

Kudos to Premier Silver in re-stating the territorial Liberal promise to undertake discussions regarding electoral reform in the Yukon.

Kudos to Premier Silver in re-stating the territorial Liberal promise to undertake discussions regarding electoral reform in the Yukon. After questioning from NDP leader Liz Hansen about establishing a commission on electoral reform, Silver said that “We did make that commitment in our platform in the election process” and that we should be having these conversations in the very near future. As more and more Yukoners realize that our First Past the Post electoral system is outdated in modern democracies with multiple political parties, I truly hope that an electoral commission is struck soon enough to be effective.

Federally, there is one more glimmer of hope for electoral reform in the form of a bill sponsored by Nathan Cullen, which will be voted on May 31. The motion is in support of the recommendations of the all-party committee on electoral reform. This is a free vote, and the NDP, Green, and Bloc members of parliament are expected to support the motion. The votes of just 20 Liberal MPs in support would put electoral reform back on the “to do list” for the federal Liberal government.

The trouble is, our MP, Larry Bagnell, is displaying the “cold feet syndrome” about supporting a key plank of the 2015 platform — just like Justin Trudeau is. Larry has indicated that he is likely to vote against supporting continued efforts to bring about electoral reform. If he does this, he will be breaking a key election promise and also disregarding the wishes of his constituents. In a recent poll of over 15,000 constituents in 20 ridings (commissioned by Fair Vote Canada), 70 per cent of decided participants wanted their Liberal MP to “advocate in the House of Commons that the Liberal government keep its promise, and change our system to proportional representation in time for the next election.”

Mr. Bagnell, will you please do the right thing on behalf of constituents who supported you based on this promise and support this vote in the House of Commons?

Gerald Haase

Marsh Lake

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