Canadians want electoral reform, letters show

In nearly 200 pages of messages to the prime minister, some staunch Liberals even say they’ll reconsider their allegiance over the handling of the electoral reform file


 
Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef answers a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. (Adrian Wyld/AP)

Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef answers a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. (Adrian Wyld/AP)

OTTAWA — Newly released documents show Canadians have been urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to hold a referendum on electoral reform.

In nearly 200 pages of messages to the prime minister, some staunch Liberal supporters even say they’re prepared to reconsider their allegiance over the handling of the electoral reform file.

RELATED: Maryam Monsef’s change in parliamentary tone

The messages, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, date back to May, when the government gave Liberals a majority on the Commons electoral reform committee — a move they eventually reversed after a public outcry.

The majority of letter writers express a desire for proportional representation to replace the current first-past-the-post system, and only a few said no to a referendum.

Several also asked Trudeau to heed the recommendations of the electoral reform committee when it delivered its final report, which happened Thursday.

MORE: The circular logic and mixed messages on electoral reform

Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef blasted the report, which recommended the government design a new proportional voting system and hold a referendum to gauge public support for it.

Liberals on the committee dissented, and urged Trudeau to abandon his promise to have a new system in place for the next election in October 2019.

Monsef says she still hopes to introduce legislation in the spring.


 

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