Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Electoral reform: Good for the NDP in our Parliament!

The NDP is giving voice to the outrage of hundreds of thousands of Canadians by tabling a censure motion in the House:

The New Democrats have officially served notice that they’re prepared to devote their upcoming opposition day to a motion that would, if passed, have the House formally conclude that Team Trudeau “misled Canadians on its platform and Throne Speech commitment” to make the 2015 federal election the last to be held under the first-past-the-post method of tallying votes, and call on the government “to apologize to Canadians for breaking its promise.”

Depending on how the New Democrats choose to proceed, that debate could take place as early as Thursday, although the vote would likely be postponed until next week.

Not, that is, that it would make much difference: the wording seems sufficiently stark that the government will have no choice but to instruct Liberal members to defeat it. Those members would, of course, have the option of not taking that advice, although they might find themselves ejected from caucus if they do so.

On the very off chance that a majority of MPs actually vote to endorse the motion, the request for a prime ministerial apology is, of course, not binding on Justin Trudeau, although if it actually got to that point, it’s hard to see how he could avoid it without risking any remaining shred of credibility he might have on the democratic reform front. 

Keep their feet to the fire, and don't let them get away with the breaking of such a fundamental campaign promise. Show them that bait-and-switch tactics are unworthy of our democracy, and keep hammering at this until Canadians get a chance in 2019 to remedy the mistake many of us made when we thought Trudeau and his team were honest with us about electoral reform.

And how about the NDP starting a clock in some public spot that shows how many days have elapsed since Justin Trudeau rose in the House to announce his new idea that promises don't count, and how many days are to elapse before ordinary Canadians get a chance to rise up in the polling booth and announce that this country belongs to its citizens, not to some small elite who do not honour promises made?

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