Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Liberal Leadership Race: Joyce Murray's Electoral Reforms Promise

Joyce Murray - Progressive Reformer
MP Murray's position on pre-election cooperation between the Liberal, NDP, Green and Bloc parties in order to remove Harper's right wing government from power, and her commitment to serious electoral reform, bears repeating in full:

Our principal challenge is to give Canada the 21st century electoral system it deserves.

• One that will be responsive to the urgent and long term issues facing the country.
• One that will produce rational and thoughtful debate.
• One that will encourage the input of diverse perspectives.
• One that will enable the best progressive policies to be delivered.

It is clear that our electoral system is in need of reform. Exaggerated seat counts that do not relate to the percentage of votes obtained have been a feature of Canadian politics for some time.

In Ontario, for example, in the last federal election, the Conservatives won 69% of the seats with 44% of the vote. Regional divisions become magnified by our first past the post system.

Today, we see that a majority of Canadians don’t support the Harper government. Those voices need to be represented in a system that reflects and is responsive to their views.

A Royal Commission

I will be a leader who recognizes that no one has a monopoly on good ideas for governing the country - or leading the Liberal party.

I would propose a Royal Commission on electoral reform that would consult widely across the country with Canadians after the 2015 election. We can use innovative technology to help make that happen.

Liberal party members voted for a preferential balloting system at our 2012 Biennial convention, demonstrating an appetite for electoral reform. I look forward to continuing that discussion during this campaign.

I would encourage other parties to commit in their election platforms to a serious study of electoral reform following the 2015 federal election as well.


To help us get there, for the 2015 election, I will leave the door open to respond to local riding situations and engage in electoral cooperation if that is the request on the ground.

I will lead to create clarity on this process and create a framework to determine under which circumstances it could happen. I will lead to create clarity on this process but not impose it. 

The framework will be focused on responding to the democratic will of local members.

Liberals voted to reach out to Canadians during this leadership race by welcoming supporters to join the Liberal cause. They voted to do things differently. This shows Liberals are open to change if there is a compelling reason to do so. Democratic reform is one such compelling cause for a modern progressive Canada.

Way to go, Joyce!
Let's hope progressives in their tens of thousands join the Liberals as Supporters in all 308 ridings, and cast their votes for you and a better, more democratic Canada!


  1. Electoral reform is part of the solution. The parliamentary system also needs an overhaul. The Executive branch is too top-heavy. Almost all the powers of government rest with the PM and his cabinet. This has to change.

  2. Agreed, Bill.

    But first let's fix the really serious deficit and bring in a democratic electoral system.

    Then we can fix the rules of Parliament, give MPs more power, foster across party cooperation, involved citizens more fully in the workings and deliberations of their parliament, perhaps innovate with citizen initiatives of some kind, make the selection of candidates running for MPs more democratic and inclusive, remedy the gender bias in MPs and lots of other things.

    There are plenty of good examples in the most democratic nations of the world, in Europe.

  3. thanks for share.

  4. Anon, thank you. If you like the post, please uptweet it to others.


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