Liberals Look to Change our Election System Without Giving Canadians a Say

Holland Landing, ON - York-Simcoe MP Peter Van Loan today reacted to comments from Liberal Minister Dominic LeBlanc that the Liberal Party is intent on ramming through changes to Canada's electoral system without Canadians having their say through a referendum.

"I remain firmly opposed to any changes made to how Canadians elect their federal representatives without holding a referendum on the matter," said Van Loan. "The fact is that when you change the basic rules of democracy, everyone has to have a say."

"Traditionally, major proposals like this have been put to a vote in Canada. In 2007, Ontarians had the opportunity to vote on whether or not they wanted to change our electoral system and more than 60%, voted against change. As the Member of Parliament for York-Simcoe I will fight the illegitimate and arrogant Liberal approach.

"A Liberal dominated committee, comprised of a handful of parliamentarians studying electoral reform is not, and never will be, a substitute for all Canadians having their voices heard directly."

Although they did not say so during the election, it is widely believed that the Liberal plan is to change the system to preferential ballot - an approach experts say will give Liberals a perpetual advantage over all other parties in elections. For example, the Liberals would have won 224 seats - 40 more than under the current system that gave them 184 seats in October. That would be 66% of the seats in an election where they were the first choice of only 39% of voters.

"Liberals have been the Government for 64 of the past 100 years under our current system," said Van Loan. "Apparently that's not enough for them. That they want to change it to something even more skewed to favour Liberals without giving Canadians a say is breathtaking. Canada is one of the most successful and enduring democracies in the world. A fundamental change should occur only with the express consent of Canadians through a referendum."