On Saturday, the first of a series of public forums to be held in five cities in Quebec on the electoral reform was held in Montreal. The Pour que chaque voix compte (make each vote count) forums are organized by the Mouvement Démocratie Nouvelle (MDN), with the support of the Quebec opposition parties and many civil society organizations, including the FIQ.
On December 7, 2016, Quebec opposition parties promised an electoral reform if any of them were elected to government in the next election. In an effort to gauge the public’s sentiments on this important issue, together with the MDN of which the FIQ is a member, they put together these public forums. The forums are an opportunity for the public to express their concerns about the current electoral reform and to gather their suggestions for an electoral system that better represents our political choices.
For years now, the FIQ has shown support for a Quebec electoral reform. In order for a democratically elected government to better reflect our collective will, we must immediately commit to shifting to a system of proportional representation. Did you know that the first-past-the-post electoral system, our current system, has caused significant imbalances throughout the course of history between the popular vote and the government elected? For example, at the 2014 provincial elections, the Phillipe Couillard government only had 41.5% of the public’s votes but was able to form a majority government with 56% of the seats in the National Assembly. This misrepresentation is undemocratic. Thanks to this majority advantage, the liberals were able to ram major reforms through, like the healthcare reform, despite all the opposition. This situation is completely unacceptable in a democracy that claims to be representative.
We want a real democratic revolution. We need to be attentive and convincing. Promises of electoral reforms so far have been a series of missed opportunities and disappointments. Need I mention Justin Trudeau’s broken promise? After promising an electoral reform during his campaign, Canada’s prime minister broke his promise. We have an opportunity in Quebec. Let’s seize it!
I invite everyone to come out and make their voice heard!