Our government was elected with a mandate that 2015 would mark the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve our electoral system, and I was pleased to see so many people in Willowdale engaged in the process. Over 100 people participated in our Sept 6th Town Hall on Electoral Reform, led by an expert panel featuring Prof. Emeritus Peter Russell, Prof. Nelson Wiseman, and Dave Meslin. Some of the main points that resounded with the room were:
- the importance of constituency; residents want to maintain a strong connection to their Members of Parliament;
- votes should be more directly translated to seat in parliament;
- the need for a more open process to select local candidates.
I appreciate this opportunity to get feedback and direction from residents, and I will work tirelessly to advocate for your priorities. The next step in this process is for the Special Committee on Electoral Reform to propose recommendations in their final report, expected by the end of 2016. My office is summarizing the comments collected after the consultation, as well as discussion highlights, to submit in our own report to the Special Committee to help inform their deliberations and ensure your voices are heard.
If you were unable to participate in this event, we continue to welcome your input by email to Ali.Ehsassi.C1C@parl.gc.ca. You can also participate in this important dialogue by submitting input directly to the committee.