Submissions to the ERRE Consultation *must* be in before midnight tonight.
Even if I didn’t have a lot to say, I’ve had a look at the questionaire, and I don’t like it much because the instructions about the electoral system questions are unclear. (If you “disagree” with the correct discription of an electoral system, does it mean you don’t approve of that system or does it mean you don’t want that system?) The worst part is that people can’t just skip those; everything on every page must be answered in order to submit. Not good.
A “brief” may sound daunting, what it really is is a way for Canadians to tell them what we think. It can be a scholarly essay if you like, or it can just be a single line that says you want Proportional Representation. I can tell you just saying “I want Canada to adopt Proportional Representation” will be incredibly important; they will be crunching numbers. If 90% of the submissions say they want PR, we might just get it.
If you wish to say a little bit more, the actual election promise was,
We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting.
You can also offer opinions on other things, like lowering the voting age to increase voter engagement, restoring the per vote subsidy and limiting election spending.
The committee mandate is to find out what Canadians want, starting with the five principles:
- Effectiveness and legitimacy
- Accessibility and inclusiveness
- Local representation
We don’t need to choose a specific electoral system; in fact, the best possible outcome would be for the committee to recommend a type of Proportional Representation, Mixed Member Proportional or Single Transferable Vote, and then direct Elections Canada to convene a panel of experts to work out details to best conform to the mandate.
You can check out my PR4Canada resources page (listed in the sidebar):
Fair Vote Waterloo’s
for more information.