Community Snapshot on Electoral Reform

Defeating the Harper Conservatives last year was a watershed moment for the Leadnow community.  After years of speaking out and pushing back against a seemingly endless assault on our democracy, we now have a government in Ottawa that has made a significant promises - many of them echoing priorities the Leadnow community and been calling for over the past 5 years.  

Of all the opportunities that defeating Harper opened up to us, changing the voting system is one of the most fundamental.  While Liberal MPs in Ottawa have had their hands full undoing the many wrongs of the Harper decade, the Leadnow community has been working hard to keep this issue front of mind. From meeting with MPs and sending messages to the Minister of Democratic Institutions, to skilling up and canvassing neighbours, already over 24,000 people have joined Leadnow’s campaign for a strong, fair and proportional voting system.

Last month, Leadnow joined with key partners as a founding member of the Every Voter Counts Alliance - bringing together over 20 organizations from across the political spectrum in support of a fair voting system in which every vote counts. The launch of the Every Voter Counts Alliance gave a big boost to the national conversation in support of a fair voting system while we await the appointment of the all-party committee on democratic reform.

Recently, we asked Leadnow supporters for their thoughts on how they would want to see the all-party committee formed and what they expected out of the public consultation process. Over 6,800 people from coast to coast to coast, representing all political stripes responded to the survey.  

If you feel comfortable sharing, which party did you vote for in the 2015 election?

Which party did you vote for 2015

The Committee

When asked about the composition of the all-party special committee, 76.7% of respondents were in favor of the committee membership being proportional to the share of the popular vote the parties received in the 2015 election.  Using a typical 12-member committee as an example, this would mean 5 members would be Liberal, 3 Conservative, 2 NDP, 1 Bloc, and 1 Green.

Do you think Leadnow should support a proposal to make the membership
of the special committee on democratic reform proportional
to the share of the popular vote received by each party in 2015?

PR for special committee?

This is different from a typical all-party committee because, under standard rules, committees only have to include members from parties that have official party status.  This would exclude, for example, participation from the Green Party of Canada, even though they received 605,864 votes in the last election.

The Consultation

When asked how they wanted to be consulted by the committee, people were equally enthusiastic about participating in person and online. 73.5 percent said they would participate in an in-person consultation either held by the all-party committee or their own Member of Parliament. 73.1% answered they would like to be engaged in the process online.  

Leadnow would like to let the Minister’s office know how our members want to be
engaged in the special committee on electoral reform consultation process.
Please check all that apply to you:

Leadnow would like to let the Minister’s office know how our members want to be engaged in the special committee on electoral reform consultation process. Please check all that apply to you:
Leadnow supporters want a robust and transparent consultation process that is easily accessible and widely advertised in a timely way.  They want a process that works across party lines and emphasizes public input.  To strengthen our democracy, it’s going to take many voices, and to make sure our voices are heard, we need a process that is committed to thorough consultation.

Leadnow supporters identified the following important elements for the committee to consider when designing the consultation process:

  • A website that clearly lays out how the process will work, the timelines, and how people can get involved.
  • Dates and locations of the consultations that are announced to the public at least two weeks in advance of the events.
  • In person consultations that are held in accessible spaces.
  • A public report following the consultations with a clear indication of how public feedback was incorporated.
Next steps:

We have an unprecedented opportunity to introduce a strong, fair and proportional voting system - a Made in Canada solution that will make every vote count, and we’re building on what we did through Vote Together to make it happen.  The better the process, the more people across the country will be able to participate, and the stronger the outcome will be for our democracy.

We will be sending a report on these recommendations to Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions, so she knows that the Leadnow community would like to see inclusive representation from all parties on the committee and that we expect a fair, open and robust consultation process.

Do you live in Vancouver, Port Moody, Calgary,Winnipeg, Toronto or Kitchener-Waterloo? Learn more about how you can join a local team.

Can you chip in with a monthly donation until we fix our broken voting system? Signing up as a monthly donor, giving just $3, $5 or $15 a month, will provide us with a solid foundation from which to build this campaign. If you can't donate monthly, please consider making a one-time contribution.