Jagmeet Singh - Trudeau Liberal Government Lied To Canadians About Electoral Reform

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Jagmeet Singh - Trudeau Liberal Government Lied To Canadians About Electoral Reform

Jagmeet Singh tweeting

So what are the consequences for the Trudeau Liberal government lying to the Canadian people about electoral reform? Asking for a country.

https://twitter.com/theJagmeetSingh/status/1115676130671902721

Sean in Ottawa

Rhetorical quesiton: A risk that when the Liberals ooze sleaze, Canadians risk electing an extreme right government that they normally would not choose and that the majority will not support.

PR would have moderated the changes in government making parties want to reach for moderation enough to be able to work with one another and an angry minority would not get to govern with a majority.

Practically speaking -- a reminder that the Liberals will likely be outside government instead of participating within it due to their broken promise.

Yes, I hope Trudeau breaks Kim Campbell's record given this.

If he tanked that badly, it is possible the NDP could give Scheer a run for his money. A Liberal party merely damaged will guarantee a Conservative victory. We need demolition.

JKR

Fair Vote Canada is supporting implementing a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.

I think this is a great idea!

Misfit Misfit's picture

Maxime Bernier could also split the right wing vote and Trudeau can also expect a majority and never learn from his sleaziness.

voice of the damned

JKR wrote:

Fair Vote Canada is supporting implementing a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.

I think this is a great idea!

I think the politicians already know that the public will not turn against them in an election because they failed to implement electoral reform, and that the public will not vote for electoral reform when given the chance to do so in a referendum.

So why will the politicians suddenly sit up and take notice because a bunch of people who never liked FPTP to begin with hold a meeting demanding an end to FPTP, and call it a "National Citizens Assembly On Electoral Reform"?

NorthReport

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So what are the consequences for the Trudeau Liberal government lying to the Canadian people about electoral reform? Asking for a country.

 

https://twitter.com/theJagmeetSingh/status/1115676130671902721

JKR

voice of the damned wrote:

JKR wrote:

Fair Vote Canada is supporting implementing a National Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.

I think this is a great idea!

I think the politicians already know that the public will not turn against them in an election because they failed to implement electoral reform, and that the public will not vote for electoral reform when given the chance to do so in a referendum.

So why will the politicians suddenly sit up and take notice because a bunch of people who never liked FPTP to begin with hold a meeting demanding an end to FPTP, and call it a "National Citizens Assembly On Electoral Reform"?

I think the NDP and Greens will continue to support PR and if the situation arises, let’s say during a Liberal minority government, the NDP and Greens could try to establish a national citizens assembly on electoral reform in return for propping up a Liberal government. As it is. Quebec’s current government seems to be going ahead with electoral reform without using a referendum to upend the process.

NorthReport

Here's Justin's 'ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies" Trudeau.

I suppose there is no sense checking his truthmeter machine, as the one for Trudeau is surely broken by now.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/02/03/trudeau-electoral-reform-heritage-minute_n_14600942.html?utm_hp_ref=ca-justin-trudeau-democratic-refor

Rikardo

Didn't Trudeau support a Preferential vote where you get 2nd and 3rd choices, better than FPTP but Fair Vote Canada opposed to get Proportional, certainly the fairest ?  But Preferential would have been a first step to Proportional. 

Unionist

Rikardo wrote:

Didn't Trudeau support a Preferential vote where you get 2nd and 3rd choices, better than FPTP but Fair Vote Canada opposed to get Proportional, certainly the fairest ?  But Preferential would have been a first step to Proportional. 

Yes. He tried, but not hard enough - perhaps counting on his near certainty that this proposal wouldn't achieve consensus. But it's more fun to say: "He promised that would be the last FPTP election, and it's not, so he's a liar!"

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Unionist wrote:

Rikardo wrote:

Didn't Trudeau support a Preferential vote where you get 2nd and 3rd choices, better than FPTP but Fair Vote Canada opposed to get Proportional, certainly the fairest ?  But Preferential would have been a first step to Proportional. 

Yes. He tried, but not hard enough - perhaps counting on his near certainty that this proposal wouldn't achieve consensus. But it's more fun to say: "He promised that would be the last FPTP election, and it's not, so he's a liar!"

He didn't have to give up on electoral reform after the Preferential model was rejected.  He could have put up other models for consideration.

Pondering

Yes he could have but so few people care that why would he? In anycase PR is the only system the NDP would have accepted and nothing was stopping the NDP for making a new proposal too. 

Trudeau has lots weaknesses that would payoff better than the "he lied about electoral reform" angle. 

JKR

Ken Burch wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Rikardo wrote:

Didn't Trudeau support a Preferential vote where you get 2nd and 3rd choices, better than FPTP but Fair Vote Canada opposed to get Proportional, certainly the fairest ?  But Preferential would have been a first step to Proportional. 

Yes. He tried, but not hard enough - perhaps counting on his near certainty that this proposal wouldn't achieve consensus. But it's more fun to say: "He promised that would be the last FPTP election, and it's not, so he's a liar!"

He didn't have to give up on electoral reform after the Preferential model was rejected.  He could have put up other models for consideration.

I don’t think Trudeau had much room to maneuver once the Conservatives and NDP on the electoral committee concluded that the committee would recommend that Canada have a national referendum on an unspecified fully proportional electoral system. I don’t think there was much Trudeau could do once the committee decided to self-destruct by recommending having a referendum that Trudeau was understandably opposed to having. Trudeau probably should have kept a Liberal majority on the electoral committee to ensure that the government could back the committee’s recommendation.

Unionist

Ken Burch wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Rikardo wrote:

Didn't Trudeau support a Preferential vote where you get 2nd and 3rd choices, better than FPTP but Fair Vote Canada opposed to get Proportional, certainly the fairest ?  But Preferential would have been a first step to Proportional. 

Yes. He tried, but not hard enough - perhaps counting on his near certainty that this proposal wouldn't achieve consensus. But it's more fun to say: "He promised that would be the last FPTP election, and it's not, so he's a liar!"

He didn't have to give up on electoral reform after the Preferential model was rejected.  He could have put up other models for consideration.

I thought that's what I said. "He tried, but not hard enough."

cco

JKR wrote:

I don’t think Trudeau had much room to maneuver once the Conservatives and NDP on the electoral committee concluded that the committee would recommend that Canada have a national referendum on an unspecified fully proportional electoral system. I don’t think there was much Trudeau could do once the committee decided to self-destruct by recommending having a referendum that Trudeau was understandably opposed to having. Trudeau probably should have kept a Liberal majority on the electoral committee to ensure that the government could back the committee’s recommendation.


So: There was nothing Trudeau could do once it became clear the committee wouldn't tell him what he wanted. He should've made sure it'd tell him that. Hard to square with his endorsement of the noble and independent work of Liberal-controlled committees shutting down the JWR investigation, though.

Unionist

You know, cco, I have little but contempt for Trudeau at the best of times. But seriously - would you have preferred that in the absence of consensus, he had simply legislated preferential voting in order to keep his dumb "promise" ("last FPTP election blah blah")? I don't think so. Yes, he didn't try hard enough. No, he didn't "lie" or "break a promise". Those accusations really miss the point.

cco

No, of course not. I'd have preferred he implement the committee's recommendation. But I didn't expect him to, since the "promise" was clearly a knee-jerk reaction to the existential horror of the NDP being official opposition. Once that was rectified and the "red door/blue door" system had returned, so the Liberal spin team can scream "YOU HAVE NO CHOICE!" at Canadians again, there was zero chance of electoral reform. The only question was how they'd kill it.

The fact I expect something of the Liberals doesn't mean I won't criticize it, though.

Unionist

cco wrote:

No, of course not. I'd have preferred he implement the committee's recommendation. But I didn't expect him to, since the "promise" was clearly a knee-jerk reaction to the existential horror of the NDP being official opposition. Once that was rectified and the "red door/blue door" system had returned, so the Liberal spin team can scream "YOU HAVE NO CHOICE!" at Canadians again, there was zero chance of electoral reform. The only question was how they'd kill it. The fact I expect something of the Liberals doesn't mean I won't criticize it, though.

Ok, I got it now. I agree!

pietro_bcc

Justin Trudeau's 2 biggest weaknesses on the left flank of his party are on electoral reform and the environment, and the fact that Singh is attacking Trudeau on these two issues is encouraging. He has the right issues in his focus.

swallow swallow's picture

I think his biggest weakness on the left is his polite racism towards Indigenous peoples. Which the NDP is also highlighting. But sure, it is worth pointing out that if the Liberals had kept their promise on voting systems, people would not face any prospect of a Conservative government. That they do can be blamed on Trudeau’s decision to abandon electoral reform. 

Sean in Ottawa

I think people are really underplaying the significance of electoral reform in the next election. They miss two critical things:

1) Sure a majority  of voters don't care. But they also do not matter. A majority of voters are in the bag already for a political party. The ones that do care are the people who provide the small number of swing votes that in winner take all FPTP can make a difference.

2) Still, most of the people if you ask them if they care right now, they might not even know what issue you are talking about. It is not on the radar. It won't be either until and unless the Liberals get close to the end of the campaign and worry about losing. The tactic they have used in the past, has always been -- look at how bad the Conservatives are, Green and NDP voters come to us. that is the exact point the right group of voters (the ones who could respond to such an appeal) will remember the broken promise.

So given the above, having the same, say, 3-4% of the population really pissed at you for putting them in the same position, despite the promise, is not ideal. If half of them, say 1.5-2% decide to say a big screw you then the last minute appeal to scoop up non-Liberal, anti, Conservative votes could fail accross a bunch of those very close ridings, decided in winner take all FPTP, by less than a percentage. The result could mean the difference between a Conservative majority and a Liberal Minority.

You can count on this story being pushed by every party but the Liberal party and by the media (since it is a good story). It is very possible that it will not come up until the last week of the election but it does not mean thtat this won't make a difference.

The Liberals fucking deserve this.

I think the Liberals could have succeeded if they meant it at some version of electoral reform. This means I consider them to have lied and I do not accept the spin here that they had no choice.

JKR

cco wrote:
JKR wrote:

I don’t think Trudeau had much room to maneuver once the Conservatives and NDP on the electoral committee concluded that the committee would recommend that Canada have a national referendum on an unspecified fully proportional electoral system. I don’t think there was much Trudeau could do once the committee decided to self-destruct by recommending having a referendum that Trudeau was understandably opposed to having. Trudeau probably should have kept a Liberal majority on the electoral committee to ensure that the government could back the committee’s recommendation.

So: There was nothing Trudeau could do once it became clear the committee wouldn't tell him what he wanted. He should've made sure it'd tell him that.

I think Trudeau’s weak understanding of electoral systems also limited his ability to act on electoral reform. I think the obvious compromise between the NDP and Liberals was a semi-proportional system that used preferential voting. I think the NDP and Greens should have proposed such a system to Trudeau with the option of making the system more proportional over time. A preferential electoral system with something like 10% PR seats could have been proposed by the NDP with the possibility of adding PR seats gradually in subsequent elections if PR was shown to be an improvement over the status quo. In any case, a referendum should never have been part of the committee’s recommendations. A referendum was just a Conservative ploy to prevent electoral reform. The NDP should not have fallen for the Conservative’s ploy. The NDP should have put electoral reform ahead of short term petty partisan politics in teaming up with the Conservatives to score short term political points.

cco

JKR wrote:

The NDP should have put electoral reform ahead of short term petty partisan politics in teaming up with the Conservatives to score short term political points.

Substitute anything at all where the Liberals claim to agree with the NDP in place of "electoral reform" and you have the classic Liberal talking point: "Criticizing Liberals helps Conservatives."

Wilf Day

Actually the NDP+Greens did their damndest to get the Liberals to endorse something, even a half-measure phased in. Evidence: the NDP+Green Supplementary report:
"We believe the government should consider adopting one of the following models, both of which would result in a Gallagher score of less than four.

  • Mixed-member proportional representation (MMP), with 2/3 of the House of Commons elected to represent direct constituencies, and 1/3 elected as regional compensatory members. Regional compensatory MPs may be elected from an open list, flexible list, as recommended by the Law Reform Commission, or they may be elected as “best runners-up”, as per the Baden-Württemberg system. Open and flexible lists have the benefit of letting voters choose. The Baden-Württemberg option has the benefit of forcing all candidates to be scrutinized and supported by voters every election in order to win their seat. Compensatory seats would be drawn from territories, provinces, or sub-regions within provinces. As such, since it would not affect current riding boundaries, a full riding redistribution would be unnecessary. The government could decide to take an incremental approach by adding regional compensatory MPs in groups of 30-45 over the next three or four elections.
  • Rural-urban proportional representation (RUP), as first elaborated by former Chief Electoral Officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley, in which current riding boundaries are maintained, but current urban ridings are clustered into multi-member ridings of three to five MPs. To minimize the level of distortion between the popular will of the electorate and the resultant seat allocations in Parliament, in 2019, the government should add an additional 50 seats for regional compensatory MPs. Again, regional compensatory MPs may be elected from an open list, flexible list, or elected as “best runners-up”, as per the Baden-Württemberg system. Like our proposed MMP model, compensatory seats would be drawn from territories, provinces, or sub-regions within provinces. "

    "The government could decide to take an incremental approach by adding regional compensatory MPs in groups of 30-45 over the next three or four elections?" Never NDP Policy, the NDP MPs were willing to settle for almost anything. No, the PMO had issued the orders: since we aren't going to get the ranked ballot which almost nobody wants, shut it down.  That's why the NDP+Greens had to make a deal with the Conservatives in order to avoid a "no report" outcome.

    Justin explained his reasoning very well on February 10, 2017:
    "I always felt that we could make a clear improvement to our political process by offering people to not ever have to vote strategically again, to give a preference on your ballot. To rank your ballot. A lot of people don’t like it. A lot of people say it favours Liberals.

    What it does is it favours parties who are good at reaching out to find common ground with broad groups of Canadians, to say, “How can I be your second choice?” That’s what it does. I think that’s probably a good thing, but I have heard very clearly that people don’t think that’s a good thing, or that they think it would favour Liberals too much. And therefore I’m not going near it, because I am not going to do something that everyone is convinced is going to favour one party over another."

    So did he lie in 2015?  Definitely. His platform said "We will make every vote count. We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation . . ." This echoed the convention resolution which said "ranked ballots and/or proportional representation."  He was claming to be open to PR. That was a lie. He was always dead opposed to it. Electoral reformers stopped the PMO’s bait-and-switch operation. We not only stopped it, we exposed it.

NorthReport

Great to hear from you Wilf and thank you and cco for your comments.

Pondering

Trudeau was not going to accept PR. He would have accepted ranked or transferable. That would have been the compromise position between status quo and PR. The NDP decided FPTP is better than ranked. 

Look look he broke promises! comes across as an infantile argument because we all know politicians break promises all the time. It only matters if the promises he broke matter more to people than the economy.  Electoral reform isn't up there.

Unionist

Pondering wrote:

Look look he broke promises! comes across as an infantile argument because we all know politicians break promises all the time. It only matters if the promises he broke matter more to people than the economy.  Electoral reform isn't up there.

Absolutely correct.

nicky

I would generally agree with what Pondering and Unionist have said.

BUT this time it may be different for Trudeau. He posed as a great reformer, a different kind of politician. At the same time many people had doubts about his sincerity, his depth and his abilities. They were prepared to overlook their doubts and give him a chance. 

Those doubts have now surfaced in light of Lavalin, electoral reform and other issues. People feel like the true man is revealing himself -callow, narcissistic, without core beliefs. They feel betrayed.

Had he not put himself on such a pedestal his hypocrisy would not be rebounding against him like it is now.

swallow swallow's picture

Thanks for the useful info Wilf, hope you're doing well. 

Sean in Ottawa

It is a sleeper issue -- one that will not come up unless the Liberals appeal to 3-5th party voters to prevent the Conservatives winning. This is an appeal the Liberals have done EVERY time they have come near to losing an election for the last 50 years.

It does matter because it puts a chill on any "lend us your vote" campaign by the Liberals and would create a backlash if they did. That backlash will not just come from the NDP and Greens who are concerned but will be amplified by the media and by the Conservatives who will do what they can to make sure this type of appeal does not work.

So this is not up there now in terms of priorities but it compromises a Liberal campaign strategy they have used in the past and it would very quickly be up there if the Liberals went there.

I think it is a big deal.

JKR

Wilf Day wrote:

That's why the NDP+Greens had to make a deal with the Conservatives in order to avoid a "no report" outcome.

I think a “no report” outcome would have been preferable to the NDP and Greens making a deal with the Conservatives that included having a national referendum that was bound to be dismissed or fail. I think the NDP’s and Green’s policies on electoral reform should now be to support having a citizens’ assembly decide the matter of electoral reform with the assistance of a representative panel of experts on electoral reform and with a committee of the House of Commons also included in the electoral reform process. I think there should be a “triple lock” on electoral reform of (1) a citizens’ assembly, (2) electoral systems experts, and (3) politicians. All three groups should reach majority agreement on the most suitable system to replace our anachronistic 2-party FPTP plurality system. I think some kind of semi-proportional MMP system would be chosen from such a process.

Pondering

Sean, I don't think the Liberals plan to use the "lend us your vote" approach. 

If the Liberals are held to a minority then the NDP can force their hand so here's hoping.

nicky wrote:

I would generally agree with what Pondering and Unionist have said.

BUT this time it may be different for Trudeau. He posed as a great reformer, a different kind of politician. At the same time many people had doubts about his sincerity, his depth and his abilities. They were prepared to overlook their doubts and give him a chance. 

Those doubts have now surfaced in light of Lavalin, electoral reform and other issues. People feel like the true man is revealing himself -callow, narcissistic, without core beliefs. They feel betrayed.

Had he not put himself on such a pedestal his hypocrisy would not be rebounding against him like it is now.

There is still lots of time before the election. Current numbers are practically meaningless. Everyone is going on about him losing his sunny ways. They don't matter any more. Every election births a fresh strategy. This time around he will run on his record meaning the child tax credit which has lifted children out of poverty and the trade deals apart from other accomplishments. 

People who feel like the true man is revealing himself are people who never voted for him in the first place. He has lost his lead due to the Lavalin controversy but that won't last and many of them went Conservative not NDP which tells me they are just telling Trudeau they are pissed off. Everyone answering these polls know we are not voting tomorrow and doesn't include "undecided". 

Of course it is a slap on the wrist to Trudeau but he is far from out. If SNC Lavalin is still refused a DPA Trudeau will say see, we didn't insist. We just wanted JRW to get a second opinion. If they do get a DPA they will say see, it was legally possible to give SNC Lavalin a DPA thereby saving the jobs. 

JKR

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

It is a sleeper issue -- one that will not come up unless the Liberals appeal to 3-5th party voters to prevent the Conservatives winning. This is an appeal the Liberals have done EVERY time they have come near to losing an election for the last 50 years.

It does matter because it puts a chill on any "lend us your vote" campaign by the Liberals and would create a backlash if they did. That backlash will not just come from the NDP and Greens who are concerned but will be amplified by the media and by the Conservatives who will do what they can to make sure this type of appeal does not work.

So this is not up there now in terms of priorities but it compromises a Liberal campaign strategy they have used in the past and it would very quickly be up there if the Liberals went there.

I think it is a big deal.

I think during the upcoming election, if the Conservatives and Liberals are both ahead of the other parties, strategic voting will still be part of another FPTP election, as that is what always happens in multi-party FPTP elections. This time around I think strategic voting will be an even a bigger issue as the the Conservatives will also be calling for strategic voting to prevent people on the right from splitting the right wing vote by voting for the new People’s Party.

Pondering

JKR wrote:

I think during the upcoming election, if the Conservatives and Liberals are both ahead of the other parties, strategic voting will still be part of another FPTP election, as that is what always happens in multi-party FPTP elections. This time around I think strategic voting will be an even a bigger issue as the the Conservatives will also be calling for strategic voting to prevent people on the right from splitting the right wing vote by voting for the new People’s Party.

Maybe the Conservatives will but the Liberals won't. 

JKR

The Liberal Party officially might not but many on the centre-left probably will once again.

Sean in Ottawa

JKR wrote:

The Liberal Party officially might not but many on the centre-left probably will once again.

yes, sure. But the Liberal party will -- if not from head office candidates who fear losing to split voting will. For them it is a last desperate move when they see that they are trailing. The central campaign has not way to stop this. Due to the broken promise there will be quite a few looking for this and it will hit the news.

Totally naive to imagine that this won't happen. It always does but it has never been as big news as it will be.

Pondering

I do wish we would collect all our predictions in one place for future reference. 

Unionist

Pondering wrote:

I do wish we would collect all our predictions in one place for future reference. 

I'm predicting that that won't happen.

Sean in Ottawa

This is an easy prediction to make: there is a national campaign and 338 candidates. If the Liberals are desperateeither the national campaign will try this or some individual candidates will. It will be recieved poorly. This is also an easy prediction since the competing parties know that the tactic will be hypocritical.

The Liberals will use it becuase it is a last ditch gamble they would use when nothing else has worked and there is nothing left to try. The other parties will attack it becuase they know about this and they can.

pietro_bcc

I wouldn't be surprised if the Liberals go back to the strategic voting well, its the last resort of a desperate campaign. To be fair Mulcair's NDP tried to appeal for strategic voting at the tail end of the 2015 campaign so it isn't a strategy that is exclusive to the Liberals.

As for people trying to reframe the narritive as the NDP and Greens being at fault for FPTP because they didn't concede... nonsense. The Liberals are the only party on the electoral reform committee that did not move one iota off their starting position, the Greens, NDP and Conservatives all changed off their starting position and reached a compromise. The onus was on the Liberals to reach a compromise position between ranked balloting and MMP, but instead they chose to take their ball and go home, instead they sent Maryam Monsef to walk up to journalists with a printed out placcard of the Gallagher index formula to mock established math like a good Conservative.

Pondering

Point is it takes two to tango. The NDP could have simply agreed with the Liberal's choice just as the Liberals could have agreed with the NDP's choice. Nobody wanted to budge. 

Would you have preferred that the Liberals impose their choice in order to keep their promise? If not then it isn't "not keeping their promise" that is your problem.

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Point is it takes two to tango. The NDP could have simply agreed with the Liberal's choice just as the Liberals could have agreed with the NDP's choice. Nobody wanted to budge. 

Would you have preferred that the Liberals impose their choice in order to keep their promise? If not then it isn't "not keeping their promise" that is your problem.

They were not at an impasse as you suggest. There were many options to continue to find a solution.

The Liberal choice was to shut down the process. No, the NDP did not have to agree to that.