After the last federal election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to change the way voting is done in this country.
Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef was appointed Minister of Democratic Institutions with the mandate to find out what Canadians want when it comes to electoral reform.
As Steve Guthrie tells us, in Peterborough on Tuesday, residents got a chance to tell her their thoughts on the topic:
Maryam Monsef, MPP Peterborough
“To speak up, to become informed, to build communities, to be involved, like you are.
Many Canadians feel the current ” first-past-the-post electoral system is flawed.
MPs routinely win elections with a minority of the popular vote and votes for other parties and candidates are lost, leading to a parliament that does not reflect the political diversity among canadians.The afternoon event at The Mount Community Centre attracted a capacity crowd of 180 people, eager to participate in the process.
.Maryam Monsef, MPP Peterborough: “We’ve seen people come to this conversation, some with already formed opinions on how they’d to see us move forward but there’s a significant number of people in these crowds who are here out of curiosity, who are here to learn more”
Focus groups were asked to consider a number of questions about what they would like to see happen with the electoral process. One asked how to increase voter participation in elections.
“People are not engaged because they think they can’t make an informed vote, they don’t feel they have enough information”
“People are disengaged because they feel that anything changes, and that their vote won’t make a difference’
“On-line voting was critical to engage young voters, and we should do more with civics in primary school with kids”
‘One of the things people don’t vote is actually a way of voting, in a way, it’s none of the above, without even going into the polling station, so people who are turned off by all the choices are just staying home”
The Democratic reform town hall meetings will return to the Peterborough area, with meetings in Apsley, Buckhorn and Havelock on October 11 and Lakefield on October 13.
Steve Guthrie CHEX Newswatch Peterborough