Campaign Strategy

The current state: What is stopping Canada from moving to proportional representation?

  • Narrow self interest of parties in power to keep the system that got them into power.
  • Excuse that those who want electoral reform can't agree on a new voting system.
  • Misperceptions about proportional systems (for example, that PR would mean a plethora of splinter parties, or legislative gridlock, or that it would make local MPs powerless to defy their party).

The context and opportunity for voting system reform now:

  • A lot of Liberal voters believed the Liberal Party's promise to introduce a new electoral system before the next federal election, and would be thrilled if they found a way for the Liberals to keep it.
  • The U.S. is providing a disturbing example of the consequences of a broken First-Part-the-Post electoral system.
  • Three political parties (garnering a majority of the popular vote) promised a new electoral system during the last election.
  • The Electoral Reform Commission final report made clear that a large majority of presenters and participants favoured a proportional electoral system.
  • The current set of Liberal MPs includes many new members who might still retain some of their idealism. As recently witnessed, MPs are willing to stand up for what they believe, even if it isn’t what their party leader believes.
  • Electoral reform needs leadership - if Government won’t provide it, citizens will.

Our short term strategy:

  1. DONE Find an electoral system that meets the five guiding principles Trudeau set for the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform, and which follows the electoral values reflected in many submissions to that committee.
  2. IN PROCESS Use Guelph, Ontario as a test case to prove popular support for Local PR, as evidenced by petition signatures and leading citizen endorsements.
  3. IN PROCESS Continue to dialogue on electoral reform, gather concerns about Local PR. If possible and when required, tweak Local PR to address those concerns.
  4. IN PROCESS Build infrastructure to support local campaigns across Canada via this website, national Board, high profile national endorsers, social media campaign.
  5. Have MP Lloyd Longfield present Guelph’s petition signatures to Parliament. At same time launch a national bottom-up petition campaign consisting of local campaigns starting from the Guelph template and evolving.

Our fallback strategy: What if Justin Trudeau continues to oppose voting system reform through to 2019?

  1. Through our partners in many local multi-party and nonpartisan citizen groups, deepen understanding among voters about the functioning of Canadian democracy, about voting systems in general and about Local PR in specific. Lay the groundwork to make this a defining campaign issue in the 2019 election.
  2. Local community members educate and lobby their own MPs and other local candidates running for election in the same riding.