FIQ (Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec)

A large coalition for electoral reform now!

A large coalition for electoral reform now!

Dozens of organizations from all sectors of civil society (women’s groups, retiree, youth, student, union, environmentalist, community associations), already millions of people, decided to rally together to promote an electoral reform in Québec. Today, they are launching the Coalition pour la réforme électorale maintenant! so that the François Legault government follows through on its electoral promise to reform the voting system in time for the 2022 elections.

The premier has the legitimacy and means to act to table a bill before October 1, 2019 to introduce a compensatory mixed proportional system for the next general elections, as promised in the transpartisan agreement signed in May 2018.

The Coalition’s objectives are to promote a vast popular movement for electoral reform throughout Québec, inform and create widespread awareness of the electoral reform issues in the general population, force the government to keep its promises and strengthen democracy in Québec by contributing to the holding of elections using the new voting system as of 2022.

“We gathered more than forty groups in a single week and the enthusiasm is only growing. Our goal is to unite the civil society organizations from all regions in Québec by October 1st, to remind the government not to miss this historic moment for our democracy”, stated Alain Marois, Vice-President for Political Life at the Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE) and the Mouvement Démocratie Nouvelle.

“It is clear for the community movement that an electoral reform will help improve greater citizen participation, and thus revive democratic life everywhere in Québec”, stated Céline Métivier from the Réseau québécois de l’action communautaire autonome.

Jocelyne Dupuis, from the Association de personnes retraitées de la FAE, agreed, pointing out “too many elderly people think that society is losing interest in them and they abandon politics. An electoral reform would give them the legitimacy to participate again in democratic life in Québec, while ending political cynicism and having better representation of the people’s will”.

“The best way to end the people’s political cynicism is a reform of the voting system, including legislative measures to ensure gender parity”, stated the executive director of the Groupe Femmes, Politique et Démocratie, Esther Lapointe.

Luc Vachon, President of the Centrale des syndicats démocratiques, says, “the fundamental issue of the voting system reform is to have representation which more accurately reflects the votes cast. The legitimate claim to govern should come from the votes cast and not winning the most seats. Moreover, a reform that ensures gender parity must be adopted, the goal being to have better representation of the population in general”.

Patrick Bonin, campaign manager for the Greenpeace Canada Climate-Energy program, strongly asserted that “to truly protect the environment and attack climate change, the keywords should be collaboration and long-term vision. A reform of the voting system is essential if we want the parties to get past partisanship and work together promoting policies supported by a real majority of voters”.

“The student population wants to take part in a real debate on ideas. This reform of the voting system will help to mitigate young people’s cynicism for Québec politics and push them to be more interested in the issues affecting them on a daily basis”, said Philippe Clément, President of the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec FECQ.

The same holds true for the president of the Citoyenneté jeunesse, Jennifer Teasdale-Raymond, who warned that “to combat the democratic disconnection and political apathy of young people under age 35, it is critical to update our electoral system in order to bring it closer to the people. Young people want to find elected officials in the National Assembly who represent today’s Québec. A first step in that direction is installing a proportional voting system as of 2022”.

The Coalition pour la réforme électorale maintenant ! has united 45 organizations from all sectors of civil society to date, including: Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS), Association des étudiantes et des étudiants de l’Université Laval (AÉÉH), Association des Étudiants en Sciences et Génie de l’Université Laval (AESGUL), Association des juristes progressistes (AJP), Association de personnes retraitées de la FAE (APRFAE), Association des retraitées et retraités de l’éducation et des autres services publics (AREQ-CSQ), Cégep de Saint-Laurent, Carrefour de participation, ressourcement et formation (CPRF), Centrale des syndicats démocratiques (CSD), Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), Centre des femmes de Rivière-des-Prairies, Centre de femmes l’Essentielle, Centre justice et foi, Centre ressources pour femmes de Beauport, Citoyenneté Jeunesse, Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN), Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE), Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ), Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), Fédération nationale des enseignantes et enseignants du Québec (FNEEQ), Fondation Béati, David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace Canada, Groupe Femmes, Politique et Démocratie (GFPD), Illusion-Emploi de l’Estrie, L’R des centres de femmes du Québec, La Collective des femmes de Nicolet et région, La Planète s’invite au Parlement, Le Pacte pour la transition, Maison des femmes des Bois-Francs, Maison d’Haïti, Nouveaux Cahiers du socialisme (NCS), Observatoire québécois de la démocratie, Regroupement des Femmes de la Côte-de-Gaspé, Regroupement des organismes communautaires des Laurentides (ROCL), Réseau des tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec, Réseau québécois de l’action communautaire autonome (RQ-ACA), Solidarité populaire Estrie, Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec (SFPQ), Syndicat des chargées et chargés de cours de l’Université du Québec à Rimouski (SCCCUQAR), Syndicat du personnel enseignant du Collège Ahuntsic (SPECA), Table de concertation du mouvement des femmes de la Mauricie (TCMFM), Table nationale des corporations de développement communautaire (TN-CDC).

 

Contact: Julie Sion, Communications Officer, Mouvement Démocratie Nouvelle,

514 827-5923 (cell.) / julie.sion@democratie-nouvelle.qc.ca