Proportional Representation Petitions

MP Stephen WoodworthAnita Payne pointed out that Stephen Woodworth was not the first Conservative MP to present the Fair Vote Petition to Parliament.

On November 18th, 2013 Conservative MP Scott Reid presented a Fair Vote Proportional Representation Petition from his own Ontario riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington. It would certainly have been easy to miss as he merely described it as “identical to the petition just presented a moment ago by my colleague from St. Paul’s.”  I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing the Hansard record of Liberal Member of Parliament Carolyn Bennett’s Petition Presentation (referenced by Mr. Reid) here:

Hon. Carolyn Bennett
The Honorable Carolyn Bennett

Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a petition on fair electoral representation. The petition is to ensure that Canadians have a fair electoral system. The petitioners are saying that it is completely unfair when the number of MPs that party supporters elect does not reflect the number of voters who cast ballots for that party.

The petitioners pointed out to me in a number of town hall meetings at Christie Gardens that it seems exceptionally unfair that many more people voted against the governing party, which is ruling with a majority.

As fair voting systems better reflect the will of voters and let them vote for the candidate and party they prefer and give each community fair and accountable representation, the petitioners are calling upon the House of Commons to immediately undertake public consultations across Canada to amend the Canada Elections Act to ensure that voters can cast an equal and effective vote to be fairly represented in Parliament.

I am particularly honoured to present this particular petition in that it is signed by one of the real heroes of citizen engagement, my dear friend Ursula Franklin.

— The Honorable Carolyn Bennett, presenting the Fair Vote Petition from St. Paul’s

I welcome any further information about other Proportional Representation petitions presented to parliament.

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