LET US VOTE: Trudeau must implement a referendum on electoral reform

Brian LilleyArchive

UPDATE: 73% of Canadians want a referendum to decide on major electoral reform. 

You can click here for the full results

UPDATE: Forcing constitutional change without a referendum is wrong

Allowing the public to vote, that is the ultimate public consultation isn’t it? It absolutely is and it was through such a public consultation that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberals came to power last October.

So why won’t Prime Minister Trudeau allow Canadians to vote on whether to change our voting system?

During the election campaign the Liberals made a vague promise about changing the voting system. They promised to end the first past the post system we use now where the person with the most votes in any particular riding or district wins that seat for their party. What the Liberals didn’t do was say what they would replace the current system with. Now they are promising consultations with Canadians through a parliamentary committee.

Is that enough?

I’d say no.

Whether you support or oppose electoral reform, Canadians should have the final say, through a vote, on whatever model the parliamentary committee decides, but so far Trudeau is saying no. In his year end interview with CTV’s Lisa Laflamme, Trudeau dismissed the need for a referendum by pointing out that the Conservatives didn’t hold a referendum before passing the Fair Elections Act.

"Should we have a referendum on everything that matters to the future of the country?" Trudeau asked. "You have to make choices at one point, and we are committed to holding full, engaged consultations, and we'll see where that takes us."

Of course, that argument is a false one and doesn’t answer the question.

The Fair Elections Act made changes to an existing system. It tightened rules for identification, it tightened rules for how campaigns could be run and financed, what penalties were for offences, it didn’t fundamentally change the way our voting system works. When Trudeau asks if we need to have a referendum on everything, he is being less than serious, he knows that’s not the case.

Canadians deserve to have a say.

This isn’t a petition supporting one side or another, this is a petition calling on Parliament to let the people have their say. We want Canadians that like the current system, supporters of proportional representation, ranked ballots and any other option to sign on and agree that a change as fundamental as this demands a referendum.

We are also asking for your help to commission a national poll on this question. We believe that the majority of Canadians want a referendum, let’s test that with a scientifically valid, national poll. The poll will cost about $1,500. If you can donate, $5, $10, $25 or more to help pay for this poll it will go a long way.

The Rebel is the news network that is built and funded by you, without your support we would not exist.

If you can’t contribute financially,  then please do what you can by sharing this petition by email, on Facebook or on Twitter.

With your help we can demand that Parliament give the people a voice.

- Brian Lilley

Sign the petition!

We the undersigned demand that Canadians be given a voice and a chance to have a direct say in how our voting system works. We demand that before any change to the electoral system happens that Canadians be allowed to vote in a referendum.

Will you sign?