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