Election system will change – Stetski

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  • Aug. 24, 2016 2:00 p.m.

Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski was in Creston on Tuesday, inviting public input about proposed changes to the way Canadians vote.

“I am travelling to 14 communities around the riding and meeting with constituents, generally in coffee shops,” he said. In Creston, he heard from 16 people who took the time on a warm summer morning to have their voices heard.

“At each location I am taking people through questions about how we vote, so I can prepare input to present to the multi-party committee in September,” the first-term NDP MP said.

•Should we move to electronic voting?

•Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

•Should we move to mandatory voting and use fines or incentives?

•What form of proportional representation should Canada move to?

“The first past the post system (our current system in which the candidate that receives the most votes wins) will become history,” Stetski said.

What asked whether he was confident a change will be made, considering the governing party typically benefits from the status quo, he said that the Liberal government has remained steadfast, pointing out that nearly 70 per cent of Canadians voted for a change because only the Conservative Party platform did not include electoral reform.

“The questions of a referendum keeps coming up, especially from the Conservatives,” he said. “The government’s response is that the election was a referendum on the issue.”

During his meeting at the Break In Time Caffe, Stetski said there was “lots of good discussion.”

The NDP supports a mixed member proportional representation vote that would see voters cast ballots for local and party-selected candidates.

“Some people are concerned that we might not get majority governments under a new system, but I don’t see anything wrong with minority or coalition governments,” he said. “They force elected representatives to work together to find common ground.”

With a mid-September deadline looming for public input, Stetski encourages constituents to submit feedback to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform. Comments can be directed to Wayne.Stetski@parl.gc.ca or mailed to Wayne Stetski, MP, Kootenay-Columbia, House of Commons, Ottawa ON, K1A 0A6.


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