By KERRY DIOTTE
The governing Liberals insist we must have a new system of voting for future federal elections. Here are 10 reasons why this is a very bad idea:
1 – There’s no groundswell in the Canadian public demanding a new voting system. While knocking on thousands of doors for the October 2015 election I cannot recall one person bringing up the issue.
2 – The Liberals have repeatedly ruled out sticking with our current system of first-past-the-post elections, a method that has served Canada well since Confederation.
3 – Despite pledges to do widespread consultations with the public before changing our system, there’s no plan to hold a national referendum on this historic change to our democracy.
4 – Critics rightfully point out that other systems of voting can favour the ruling Liberals. Under a so-called ranked ballot or proportional representation system, it’s predicted the Liberals would have increased their current seat count Oct. 19 from 184 to 224 in this current Parliament.
5 – The Liberals are already tipping their hand that they’re leaning to the ranked-ballot system. That comes amid news the Privy Council Office (that reports directly to the Prime Minister and minister in charge) recently hired Derek Alton, who founded a group that advocates the ranked ballot system.
6 – A ranked-ballot system would put Conservative voters at a disadvantage. Studies have shown NDP supporters would tend to pick Liberal candidates as their second pick while Liberal supporters would choose NDP reps for their second-string choice. Conservative voters frequently indicate they don’t wish to have a second choice of another candidate at all.
7 – Liberal Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef has actually claimed in the House of Commons that consultation on reform using Twitter and townhalls is more valid than holding a national referendum.
8 – Much has been made of the fact Liberals recently changed the makeup of a parliamentary committee tasked with coming up with a new voting system. Now opposition members from the Green Party, the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP will get a vote. But the truth is, the committee is little more than a paper tiger. The ruling Grits can still ignore its finding and choose any new voting system it desires. Such are the perks of winning a majority government.
9 – There are precedents for holding voting referendums in Canada. Through referenda, in British Columbia, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island voters rejected changes to their systems.
10 – Recent opinion polls show that nearly three quarters of Canadians believe a national referendum should be held if there is to be a change in our way of voting.
If you believe there’s no reason to change our voting system or you think we must hold a national referendum before doing so, take action. Write to the Prime Minister at House of Commons, Ottawa, ON. K1A 0A6. There is no postage required to send that letter.
I was happy to lend a hand today in Ottawa for the BBQ & Bake Sale organized by Lord Elgin, Hotel Indigo and Residence Inn Marriott.
I was joined by my Edmonton MP colleagues Matt Jeneroux, Kelly McCauley and Ziad Aboultaif,
It was a great turnout with lineups around the block. All the proceeds are going to those in the service industry who have lost their jobs and homes in the Fort McMurray forest fires.
We served hamburgers, veggie burgers, sausages and pad Thai non-stop.
Thanks Ottawa for your generous support for Albertans in our time of need. Your generousity is much appreciated by all those who’ve been impacted by the wildfires in and around Fort McMurray.
Today, I was honoured to participate in the carnation pinning event on Parliament Hill and give my statement in the House of Commons to recognize the start of multiple sclerosis (MS) awareness month in Canada.
MS is an unpredictable and often disabling disease that impacts many Canadians. Please join #TeamFight to help #endMS in our lifetime.
By KERRY DIOTTE
Like father, like son.
Daddy dearest, Pierre Elliott Trudeau (P.E.T.), crippled Alberta’s energy industry in the early 1980s with his National Energy Program, now his “sunny ways” son Justin is following in his father’s infamous footsteps.
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.
Albertans and Canadians have a right to be plenty peeved with the newly elected Liberals’ snub of the energy industry – a kick in the teeth to the people who feed their families from it.
Trudeau junior set the tone early in his term as prime minister. Where was his first major foreign trip after the October 19 election? None other than Paris, France, with more than 300 of his best friends — to attend a summit on global climate change.
That’s where he hobnobbed with Hollywood celebrities and posed for selfies as our unemployment rate soared in energy-producing provinces and thousands of Canadians were being laid off from their livelihoods.
In Paris, Trudeau lite even posed for pictures and had a chat with House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey (who plays the role of a U.S. president in a fictitious political drama). That encounter had a colleague of mine chuckling cynically. “It would be tempting to stand up in Question Period to ask Justin how his bilateral talks with President Underwood went,” quipped my colleague.
Each day, when I look across the House of Commons floor at the ruling party and hear their rhetoric about climate change and alternative energy I cringe.
Canadians could be forgiven for thinking they elected the Green Party. Heck these Grits are greener than Kermit the Frog.
The Liberal spin on why they’re not standing up for proposed pipelines and for the families fed by them? Well, they claim, Conservatives are to blame. Now how can that be?
In their distorted world view, Liberals claim Canada, under Conservatives, didn’t do enough to prove we can develop energy (including oil sands) in a sustainable way to get public support for pipelines.
Grits chirp that Canada must do more to prove we’re developing our resources and pipelines in sustainable sunny ways, saying it as if all our previous pipelines were built with no consultation or environmental safeguards. It’s downright disheartening. No, let me correct that. Actually, it’s sickening.
So they come up with concepts such as having to have “social licence” to proceed with new ones. They talk about the need to get buy-in from each and every stakeholder on such projects.
Yet they conveniently forget that Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline through British Columbia (B.C.) was duly approved in June 2014 subject to a whopping 209 conditions recommended by the National Energy Board, as well as an understanding that further talks with aboriginal communities would continue.
The approval came after copious amounts of hearings and input. But Pierre Trudeau junior scuttled all of that good work by arbitrarily declaring he and his fellow Grits won’t allow overseas shipping of Alberta’s diluted bitumen to occur off the coast of B.C.
So much for the value of studies and public hearings. What then does Justin and company expect to accomplish by having even longer public consultations on future pipelines like Energy East?
The bottom line is these greener-than-green Grits, just don’t like the oil and gas industry and they just don’t care about the good jobs and wealth it creates for Canadians.
Like Democratic President Barack Obama, they don’t want to be seen to be supporting anything that promotes fossil fuels, so their stated desire to add increased public consultations on future pipelines is nothing but a stalling-tactic ruse.
As an Edmontonian, an Albertan and a Canadian, I’m livid with this. It’s just not right. It’s a disservice to all of us and there will be a steep price to be paid. As Trudeau and his coherts deride oil-bearing tankers, it will be our economy that will continue to tank.
This unicorn-vision of the world has to stop. Kermit the muppet has famously croaked, “It’s not easy being green.” But the amiable amphibian obviously isn’t a Liberal, ̕cause being green seems to come naturally to them.
If you think the federal Liberals should stop pandering to the professional climate change activists and start standing up for sustainable and safe pipelines, fire off a note to me.
I’ll personally see that your message gets forwarded straight to the Prime Minister’s Office. Click here.
The only hope we have to restore some balance and sanity to this sad situation is to speak up loudly. As an elected Official Opposition Member, I’ll continue to do so, but I need your help.
Again, if you want to tell Justin and his cronies to stand up for new pipelines and the good jobs they provide to Canadian families, click here.
I’m counting on you to voice your views. It’s vital you do so. Stand up for our country. Canada’s very future is at stake.