Stéphane Dion Is Right: Put Electoral Reform to a Referendum


Dion

In 2012, Stéphane Dion wrote a short policy paper on electoral reform in which he advocated that Canadians elect MPs to the House of Commons through a single transferable vote (STV) electoral system. Under Dion’s model, the multi-member constituencies would each return either 3 or 5 MPs. His essay, “Which Electoral System is Best for Canada?” appeared in a newsletter called Federal News, published by a thinktank based in Quebec called The Federal Ideal.

On page 13 of his paper, Dion also concluded that Canadians should be able to vote on electoral reform in a referendum. He wrote:

Precedent makes holding a referendum necessary in Canada: changing the voting system would require popular support. To get this support, Canadians must be presented with a voting system that provides them with better influence over the political system.

Dion — a former university professor and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, father of the Clarity Act, former Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, and current Minister of External Affairs — is one of the pre-eminent experts on Canadian political institutions in the country; I very much hope that his colleagues in cabinet would take his advice seriously if he suggested that the government should put electoral reform to a referendum today.

UPDATE (2016-06-07):

The Conservatives gave much fanfare to Minister Dion’s policy paper in Question Period on 6 June 2016. Rona Ambrose quoted Dion’s comments on referendums in her second and third questions. Alan Reyes followed up with more questions in which he also quoted Dion’s paper. The Prime Minister never acknowledged Dion’s report.

Hon. Rona Ambrose (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, in 2012, the current Minister of Foreign Affairs wrote a policy paper on electoral reform in which he said, “Precedent makes holding a referendum necessary in Canada: changing the voting system would require popular support.”

There is one thing that does have popular support of Canadians right now, and that is if our voting system is changed, Canadians want a say. If the Prime Minister will not listen to Canadians on this, will he at least listen to his minister and give Canadians a referendum?

 

Two reporters (Kelly McParland and Marie-Danielle Smith) from the National Post also referenced Dion’s paper, though they of course did not mention that they only found out about it from Parliamentum. Journalists are held to a lower standard of evidence than scholars, after all.

 

Similar Posts:
Advertisements
This entry was posted in Electoral Reform, Reform. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Stéphane Dion Is Right: Put Electoral Reform to a Referendum

  1. Pingback: Stephane Dion Backed Referendums For Electoral Reform In 2012: Tories

  2. Pingback: Stephane Dion Backed Referendums For Electoral Reform In 2012: Tories – Huffington Post Canada

  3. Pingback: Stephane Dion Backed Referendums For Electoral Reform In 2012: Tories - 1000 Islands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce1000 Islands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce

  4. Pingback: Stephane Dion Backed Referendums For Electoral Reform In 2012: Tories - CanadaNewsHunt

I invite reasonable questions and comments; all others will be prorogued or dissolved.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s