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October 27, 2017 9:37 pm

Zimmer On Electoral Reform – Let Canadians Decide

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 @ 5:50 AM

Prince George, B.C. – When it comes to changing Canada’s electoral system Bob Zimmer has one simple solution – ask Canadians.

The Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies Conservative MP concedes he supports the current first-past-the-post system but still thinks it should go to referendum considering the government has signalled it would like to change it.Headshot of Bob Zimmer MP

“I think what’s overarching for me is if Canadians want to do that, then Canadians have the right to do that and vote for that,” says Zimmer. “The bigger problem for me is the fact that one particular government or one particular political party will get to make that decision rather than all Canadians.”

And though some MP’s across the country – including neighbouring NDP MP Nathan Cullen (see previous story here) – are planning town hall’s to engage their constituents on the issue, Zimmer isn’t.

“No, I hadn’t planned to,” he says. “Frankly the issue hasn’t really come up. I’ve heard a few people talk about referendums and if it is going to be changed, that’s what I’d like to see. But for me I just think it’s real simple, go to the people for the decision.”

Unlike some pundits, he doesn’t see a referendum as divisive either.

“I don’t know, we’ve had different referendums about electoral reform in B.C. and it didn’t divide our province,” says Zimmer. “Everybody got a fair shot at having their voice heard and I think the same thing should be done across Canada.”

Earlier this year an all-party parliamentary committee was established to consult Canadians on electoral reform and must submit a report and recommendations to Parliament by December 1, 2016.


No surprise here that he is a weak leader who doesn’t take a public decision… Isn’t willing to have a town hall on an issue central to our democracy but says let the people vote?

Essentially he either takes a stand to defend regional representation or stands back and allows proportional representation to dilute our ability to have local regional representation. Zimmer doesn’t know so he will stand back and see what happens?

    I support the transferable ballot because it doesn’t require a dilution of our local representation ability and ensures only those MP’s that can get a majority of the vote are elected.

    A transferable ballot enables smaller parties and independents to win close risings by becoming the second choice of partisans from other parties that don’t make the cut, and thus engenders more cooperation at a party level and more independence from the party for individual mp’s.

    Great Britain got to vote on Brexit because they had power over their elected officials with the transferable ballot. If they were first past the post they would never have had a referendum because the party bosses would never have allowed it… But the politicians knew they had to account to their constituents next election, so the transferable ballot saved their democracy and saved their country.

    Proportional representation will take away regional representation for large riding in rural Canada and blend our vote with larger centres so seats can be distributed by a party list system for parties with divisive single issue special interests that can garner as little as 5% of the vote. This will divide the parliament into partisan division distortions enabled by unaccountable party insiders working behind the scene who are unaccountable to the voter so long as they can keep people divided and thus high jacking our democracy before we ever get a chance to vote.

    A town hall with Zimmer will do diddly in this case, might work if you are going squatching but to be effective or have any kind of say you have to go to an actual parliamentary committee town hall meeting – or – go to a town hall meeting by someone actually selected to the committee. Oh look, Cullen is on the committee but Zimmer is not so pointless for him to hold one.

    Chair Francis Scarpaleggia Lib
    Vice Chair Scott Reid Con
    Vice Chair Nathan Cullen NDP
    John Aldag Lib
    Matt DeCourcey Lib
    Sherry Romanado Lib
    Ruby Sahota Lib
    Gerard Detell Con
    Blake Richards Con
    Alexandre Boulerice NDP
    Elizabeth May Green
    Luc Theriault Bloc

Even though the conservative party as well as all other federal parties use the transferable ballot to elect their leader and nominate their constituent nominees… Zimmer can’t support it for you the voter because Trudeau has said if it’s good enough for internal party politics than it should be good enough for the Canadian voter… So that makes it knee jerk reaction bad in Zimmers view?

The ndp and greens are hypocritics in that they use the transferable ballot for internal party nominations, but advocate the proportional system for Canadians because they don’t feel they can win a majority in enough constituencies to to be a national party?

So get in through the back door with a party list based on an amagimation of votes from across the country and be unaccountable personally for the politics preached once appointed by list into parliament…. Rather than be up front and win the majority in a constituency by appealing to more voters as their second choice bringing politics more to the centre and a true democratic majority rule.

To me I see this as a battle between democracy for rural Canadians that need local representation, as opposed to a power grab by unelectable party insiders for special interest groups that can’t get elected directly from a constituency as an individual that would vote in parliament on our behalf.

To see our general waving the white flag on this issue bodes for a bad outcome for rural representation IMO.

I do not recall Harper calling a referendum on anything he wanted to do! He just went ahead and did it! A leopard doesn’t change his spots, so in my opinion Zimmer is just doing what an opposition does in a robot like manner: Oppose, oppose, oppose!

I sure would have liked to have had a referendum on whether parliament should be shut down by prorogation or not!

    changing the way we elect our federal government is a hell of a lot more serious than prorogation. This should be obvious.

Agreed PrinceGeorge. “The bigger problem for me is the fact that one particular government or one particular political party will get to make that decision rather than all Canadians.” ~ Bob Zimmer

He and his party should have thought of that when they pushed through the Fair Elections Act while they were in government, an Act that received this kind of response from opposition parties at the time:

“The changes that have been made aren’t good enough and if we form government in 2015, we will establish a much fairer principle around elections and repeal C-23,” said Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, who has led the charge against the bill, said the original bill was “very bad;” with the amendments, he said it is “just bad.”

Oh the double standard and irony when a Conservative Government bullied and pushed through its own legislation on Elections, yet now insists a higher standard of consultation apply to the existing government now that they (the Conservatives) are in opposition.

This is just the Conservatives being two-faced again!

    More Liberal bs, the Fair Elections Act did not change the electoral system but changed how the current electoral system would be run by the electoral officer.

    What you are saying is changing to a proportional representation system is the same as putting an end to vouching or using eliminating the use of loans to evade spending limits?

    Trudeau promised no more first past the post election and he only has until April 19th to do so. Will be interesting what comes out of it all, we may all need his legislation on pot to go through soon so we can be stoned next election day

    Bang on Slinky. Jgalt, your perception of reality is bizaar.

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