02.01.2017 12:57 PM

I vote this was a good decision


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is abandoning his long-held promise to change the way Canadians vote in federal elections.

In a mandate letter for newly appointed Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould, Trudeau makes it clear that electoral reform – once top of mind for the Liberal government – is no longer on the agenda.

“Changing the electoral system will not be in your mandate,” the prime minister writes in the letter, released Wednesday.

And here is why I always felt that way.


  1. BlueGritr says:

    A very good decision. Now, it’s time the PM turns his full attention to advancing the economy and being responsible with the treasury. Will he? And can he?

  2. daveconstable says:

    He lied.

    • Vancouverois says:

      Well, duh.

      Did you ever truly expect anything else?

      It was always blindingly clear that they would either abandon the promise, or try to impose ranked balloting if they dared. And they didn’t dare. So…

  3. Kelly says:

    Kellie Lietch now has a realistic path to the Prime Minister’s office with 35% of the popular vote. Way to go Liberals. This was a dumb promise to break. Very short-sighted. Have the Liberals forgotten how fast a party can go from rump to power? Idiots.

    • Miles Lunn says:

      Quite the contrary, in Europe where they use PR far right parties routinely win seats and have greater influence than they should. If Leitch got 35%, at most she would get a minority government meaning if she tried any of her stupid ideas the opposition could just introduce a non-confidence motion. More importantly I can only see the Tories winning with the 35% with a moderate type like say Michael Chong. A toxic one like Leitch would encourage a lot of strategic voting so she would probably need to get around 43-44% to actually win a majority. The UK uses FTFP and had they used PR, right now we would probably have a Conservative-UKIP coalition meaning they would have to adopt all the nutty hard right ideas of UKIP whereas under FTFP they got a majority and aren’t beholden to them. Note in the last UK election it was 37% Conservative and 13% UKIP and the only other mathematically possible coalition beside this was a grand coalition between Conservatives and Labour and considering the bad blood between the two highly unlikely. So people should be careful for what they wish for. This was a good move on Trudeau’s part and it was a dumb promise he should have never made. Now if only he could break a few more like raising the OAS age back to 67 (we have an aging population and that is why most industrialized countries are raising their retirement ages), drop the top tax rate back to 29% from 33% (the combined rate is now over 50% in 7 out of 10 provinces and the Carter Commission in 1966 advised against, if they need more revenue get rid of the deductions and loopholes the rich use which will raise a lot more revenue).

      • With FPP the far right have a path to absolute power, like what just happened in the US.

        Nutty UKIP ideas like Brexit?

        • Miles Lunn says:

          It’s true no system is fool proof, but it’s a lot harder under FTFP than PR to gain seats. I do not want them to win seats, forget about winning outright, winning even a single seat legitimizes them. As for Brexit, it’s true that passed in a referendum, but UKIP still only got 1 seat and also many people who voted leave were not racist even though much of UKIP is. Some who voted for Brexit simply felt EU membership involved giving up too much sovereignty, after all if Canada, US, and Mexico had a North American Union similar to the EU in how much sovereignty one had to give up, I suspect most Canadians would probably oppose it too. Boris Johnson who voted leave is not anti-immigration, he just believes there should be a points system that applies to people from all countries equally whereas now its quite difficult to immigrate to the UK if from outside the EU, while if an EU citizen you have the automatic right to come.

          • Having a massive distortion of democracy just to keep the far right from having a few seats isn’t worth it in my opinion. Other things like having a charter of rights, low poverty and a well educated population are also effective at limiting thier power.

          • Miles Lunn says:

            doconnor, a salve to pompous scientism – I disagree. As soon as you let the far right win some seats you legitimize them so we should keep them out entirely meaning they need to win zero seats. Charter of rights and education helps although I am not sure about poverty. People are naturally tribalistic and there will always be some uncomfortable around those who are different no matter how well off they are. Denmark, Germany, and Sweden all have much lower poverty rates than the US yet that hasn’t prevented the far right from polling around 15-20%. It’s true when things are going poorly people are more likely to turn to extremes but reducing income inequality I hate to say won’t make much dent in the far right considering how well they are doing in some European countries that have low levels of inequality. Rather teaching tolerance and having a culture that embraces diversity probably has more of an impact thus why the far right has less support in Canada than Northern Europe even though we are less equal.

  4. bluegreenblogger says:

    Those electoral reformers are numerous, young, vote for sure for sure, and will not vote Liberal again for a very long time to come. To say the file was poorly managed is extremely generous. It has kneecapped Monsef, deservedly I guess. It’s a shame, it could have been good policy.

  5. bluegreenblogger says:

    Plus, for the first time, Trudeau can un-equivocably be named liar. This is not going to end well.

  6. Charlie says:

    About time.

    This was absolutely the right decision and one that Liberals should have made late last year. I’m happy that their not saddling Karina Gould with the burden of carrying a dead promise. But the Liberals better find a quick way to burry the lede here because this is going to be eaten up the news cycle for the next 2 weeks.

    Already, you have the Dippers losing their goddamn mind over this and will quickly start treating this like a democratic genocide perpetrated by Trudeau. Tom Mulcair needed any reason at all to go stand in front of the media, angry and red-faced — this gives him that excuse.

    I hope the PMO doesn’t fuck the PR/Comms on this.

    • Kevin T. says:

      The Libs will easily survive this, like usual, because they can count on two things: Dippers going ballistic and Cons being hypocritical.

      I’m good with this decision, it was due last year.

      • Charlie says:

        Dippers aren’t going to shut up about it and Conservatives are just going to goad them on.

        As of this moment, Nathan Cullen is on TV on the verge of tears shrieking “betrayal” while Scott Reid is cynically and passively supporting his hysterics.

        So, survive — yes; but the Liberals could have avoided this mess.

        (Love the Tobias Funke pic btw).

    • Vancouverois says:

      I’m sure Trump’s next action will soon erase all mention of it from our national headlines.

      Besides, who was naive enough to expect anything else?

      • Charlie says:

        Doubt it very much.

        Media will obsess over the issue so long as critics have something to say about it. Lots of journos have been waiting for an opportunity to take this government down a peg and they won’t just move on.

        Only way to change the channel for the Liberals is to redirect the narrative onto something bigger, themselves. A really stupid comms strategy would be to wait it out.

  7. Gyor says:

    This is a massive gift to the NDP, another broken promise and tax dollars wasted on a, process that was never going to go anywhere.

    More proof Trudeau was willing to say anything to win because he had no plans to keep many of them. Same old liberal party.

    • grab 'em by the pussy riot says:

      Under FPTP, the NDP can never get power. Only Dippers would be dumb enough to think that a gift.

      They also sided with the Conservatives demanding a referendum which Trudeau was never going to go for. So they killed their own cause and allowed Conservatives to get their way: i.e., electoral reform is now as dead as constitutional reform. LOLOL.

      Of course, if the NDP runs a strong enough campaign in 2019, that will ensure an O’Leary majority. Nothing fires up the conservative base like the NDP getting near to power. So Dippers aren’t completely useless!

    • It helps the NDP, but not a much a electoral reform would have.

  8. Eric Weiss says:

    I was considering voting LPC based on this promise, but didn’t because I didn’t believe they were serious. Looks like I was right.

  9. grab 'em by the pussy riot says:

    I vote this was an excellent decision. Makes O’Leary a lock for 2019!

    If Junior wasn’t such a narcissistic airhead, he would’ve realized that since conservative voters make up 40% of the electorate – and a false majority occurs on 40% – all a united Conservative party needs is a likable leader to win. Unlike Harper, O’Leary is going to fire up his base and go beyond the conservative tent – like Mulroney.

    Junior has gotten by on his good looks and father’s name his entire life. Thinks he can charm his way out of everything. In 2019, he will be destroyed FPTP-style like Count Iggy in 2011. Bashed from the left and the right. It will be a joy to behold!

  10. Liam Young says:

    Trudeau’s decision concerning electoral reform is yet another bad choice (3rd country refugees, oil pipelines, selfies, etc).
    As Kelly said above, the likelihood of Kellie Leitch winning in 2019 is almost certain now.
    I’ve just emailed my MP hoping that I can convince them to start on the path again BEFORE 2019, but I don’t think they’ll listen.
    So … what’s next for Canadians that care about our future?

    • The Doctor says:

      You’re the second poster on here who seems to think that Kellie Leitch is some sort of lock for the CPC leadership. Colour me skeptical.

      • grab 'em by the pussy riot says:

        Kellie Leitch is a schoolmarm. Makes Harper look good.

        Anyone who knows a bit about political chess knows O’Leary is going to tear up the Conservative leadership race and the 2019 election.

        Unlike Trump, O’Leary only needs 40% of the vote to win the pot. He’s also a lot smarter than Trump and won’t make the same dumb mistakes.

        The only question remains: how big of a landslide is he going to win by? I wouldn’t be surprised if he got an actual 50% majority like BM in 1984.

        • Kelly says:

          Hate to burst your bubble but O’lately won’t even win the leadership because of the way the rules are structured. It’s preferential vote (funny the Cons didn’t support that for Federal elections) and so there will be an anybody but O’leary compromise, plus you need support right across the country based on regional allocations and he won’t get enough support in Quebec. Remember . . . he’s the worst kind of former Quebeccer…an Anglo who refused to learn French, so entitled doesn’t begin to describe him. Heck, he doesn’t even live in Canada. He’s neighbours with the last guy who thought he could come here and visit from Boston. Remember him? Didn’t think so.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:


            Have to put a qualifier in there: when Jack grew up in Hudson, he was just like Kevin, he spoke less than zip of French. But he was smart enough to remedy that later. Practically the whole West Island was like that in the 60s, including my cousins.

        • bluegreenblogger says:

          haha, good one!

  11. Ray says:

    Anything that keeps Angry Tom’s hands off the levers of power is a good thing.

  12. billg says:

    Was a dumb thing to promise, but, helped get him elected.
    He’s now OK’d three oil and natural gas pipelines.
    He’s nixed the electoral reform idea.
    What he loses to the NDP he’ll gain in soft Conservative voters.
    Funny, he’s going to lose votes to the NDP for behaving the way a PM should, kind of say’s a lot right there.

  13. Mark says:

    Disappointed, though not at all surprised.. this was inevitable. Original promise was made when they were the 3rd party in the house, and I don’t think they imagined themselves in majority territory. Going for a minority, then putting in a “we’ll be your second choice” voting system was their best bet to stay in power. From where they are now, with continuing weakness in the opposition parties, they’d have to be idiots to make any changes. This was pure cynical politics, and anyone who expects anything different from any party is delusional. Watch this revisited if they slip badly in the polls…

  14. Robert Frindt says:

    Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss…

  15. Scott Murray says:

    The promise, as Mark says, was made when Majority territory was not within sight. I see that it is not part of the new minister’s mandate letter. That does not mean the concept of some sort or reform is completely off the table. But certainly abandoning FPTP is already unrealistic before the next election anyway. I do hope they restore the per-vote subsidy (thank you Mr. Chretien), and the Libs should be congratulated for undoing the Harperites’ (un)Fair Elections Act. Let’s see what they do once the opinion polls come in.

  16. Bill Templeman says:

    Many of you probably understand more of the delicate nuances to this issue than me, so let me just blurt out my simple babble. A few months before the 2015 election, JT came to town and delivered his stump speech, in which he said “This will be last FPTP election!” We all cheered. I cheered too. Then today he announced he is giving up the whole project. So the next election will be FPTP. Things change. I get that. But I feel, if not lied to, then manipulated. Angry.

  17. Steve T says:

    Happy about the decision. Disenchanted that Trudeau is just another politician that will say anything to get elected. Especially when he was so pompous about being a “different” type of leader. Nope – same old crap.

    The lesson is: never believe what anyone tells you on the campaign trail, whether you like the promise or hate the promise.

  18. P. Brenn says:

    Most Canadians did not care – many couldnt explain the system period …

  19. Miles Lunn says:

    I have been saying this is a dumb promise he should have broken quite a while ago and glad he did it. Parties should easily break promises, but when evidence shows doing them would cause more harm than benefit, it is better to break them than adopt a bad promise. Jean Chretien understood this when he broke his promise to scrap the GST which was a dumb one and he still managed to win three majorities and never saw his approval rating drop below 50%. Now if only Trump would break just about every promise he made, we would be better off, but unfortunately that won’t happen.

  20. Matt says:

    My take;

    The Liberals never expected to win a minority, nevermind a majority. Going into the 2015 election, the Liberals goal was to knock the NDP back to third party and take over the Official Opposition spot.

    So, they made this electoral reform promise that took up all of 4 lines in their platform, without any details as to how they would reform the system thinking they would never have to live up to it.

    Well, the NDP vote collapsed and the Liberals won a majority, with the help of a lot of first time voters and about a million NDP voters who expected they keep their electoral reform promise. Now I’m not suggesting the ER promise was the ONLY reason Dipper voters jumped ship but I’m sure it was a factor.

    So, the Liberals needed to turn Canadians against the idea. How to do it…….. A HA! Put the most inept, inexperienced person they had in caucus in charge of the whole thing hoping they would f— it up. Enter Maryam Monsef. But just to be safe, lets have the PMO provide all her talking points and and have her insult the work of the Electoral Reform Committee. And just so we’re sure, lets put out a ridiculous survey on electoral reform that really doesn’t touch on the subject of electoral reform at all.

    Love Trudeau standing in the HOC – “There was no consensus on electoral reform” Well as Huff Po’s Althia Raj pointed out on Power and Politics – Trudeau didn’t provide and plan for electoral reform. The Liberals made no effort to build consensus.”

    • Miles Lunn says:

      Exactly. Almost all the dumb promises Trudeau made were when his party was in third place in the polls, not when they were in second or leading. Otherwise they made them when they didn’t expect to win and often when in third place you make dumb promises as its about getting votes and you don’t have to worry about the consequences since you won’t win. Parties that are actually serious about winning are a bit more careful as they know things can come back to bite them.

  21. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Short and sweet: country needs some kind of reform to make representation more democratic (more parties in the House) but voters won’t stand for ending FPTP, so end of story right there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *