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October 27, 2017 10:57 pm

Cullen to Trudeau on Electoral Change – What’s taking so Long?

Monday, May 9, 2016 @ 5:52 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Time is of the essence.

The words of Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen when it comes to the Liberal government’s promise to change Canada’s electoral system in time for the next federal election. CullenNathan_NDP_(40th_Parl)_thumb

He says he’s starting to worry Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t going to follow through on a promise he made during last fall’s election campaign and as a result the NDP have launched an online petition.

“We’re growing increasingly worried that in seven months the government hasn’t given any reason for this delay and we’re just losing precious time.”

Cullen says the promise was made to replace what he terms the “archaic and winner take all” first-past-the-post system with a form of proportional representation(PR).

“One where parties, if they get about 20% of the support get about 20% of the seats as opposed to the system we have right now that leads to false majorities and a lot of power being concentrated in a few hands.”

He says a PR system “does a lot of good things.”

“It gets more women and underrepresented groups into politics and it also forces parties to share power more often.”

Just how much time is needed to ensure the system is changed in time for the next election in 2018?

“We’ve met with the chief electoral officer and he wasn’t necessarily expressing his concern but he needs a bunch of time. So if we don’t start yesterday then we may not get anything done and if we get something done it will only be a very weak option.”

Cullen says the petition is available on the party’s website and will eventually be presented in the House of Commons.


I like Cullen and I strongly support electoral change, but Cullen is being disingenuous in his comment that Trudeau promised to replace first past the post with proportional representation.

Trudeau promised to replace first past the post with something that better reflect the voter and said his preference was the preferential ballot which ranks candidates on the ballot and once a majority is reached they are elected. Big difference between the two and Cullen knows this.

Trudeau supports first past the post because it retains local representation and doesn’t require further amalgamation of ridings. Retaining local representation and having only majority elected MP’s is very important.

Proportional rep would require a redrawing of electoral boundaries to accommodate the new system and northern rural riding would loose the most.

    I agree with the first part of your comment Eagleone;

    Trudeau and the Liberals have never gone on record as being in favour of proportional representation. If Mr. Cullen wants to be fair and objective, he should be calling the Liberal government out on “electoral reform” and not just proportional representation, which is just one of many options to electoral reform.

    I am concerned with the manner in which Mr. Trudeau initially responded to the NDP’s requests for the Liberals to live up to their promise that “this would be the last election using the first-past-the-post system”. Foolishly blaming the opposition for the delay is actually something I would have expected from a Conservative government and not a more ethical and moral Liberal Government. Apologizing was the Liberal’s best course of action.

    www .macleans.ca/news/canada/pm-apologizes-for-blaming-opposition-parties-for-electoral-reform-delay/

And what is this 20% Cullen speaks of. Disingenuous again because the ndp having been calling for a 5% threshold for proportional representation which would fracture parliament with every 5% fringe single dog whistle group in the country.

Cullen at the least should be truthful and not political when discussing electoral reform. If the ndp changed policy to support the 20% threshold then I missed that and maybe he should be speaking of that rather than using false numbers to try and justify his position with those sitting on the fence that wouldn’t know he is just using those numbers for the politics of it rather than their actual policy.

Perhaps the NDP could have set an example by changing the electoral system in B.C. when it was ruling for an entire decade? How come it just sat on its hands instead of replacing the “archaic and winner take all” first-past-the-post system when it had a great opportunity to do so?

Cullen sure loves to beak off.. And what have you done Cullen….nothing but try to grand stand.

Perhaps Mr Cullen should pick up a newspaper and find out what is going on.If he could only realize there is lot of day to day managing to be done running a country.We do know what his priorities are but maybe if he had something else to do with his Idle time………

I think that this needs a lot more thought than just jumping in it. Possibly they should have a referendum with the next election so that the people can have their say.

I may be wrong, I think we have the most diverse cabinet in Canadian history. Is that not a good start on change in just 6 months?

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