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Scott Reid is the Member of Parliament for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston

and is currently the Shadow Cabinet critic for Democratic Institutions.

He served from 2008 to 2015 as the chairman of the subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

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Changing Canada’s electoral system

December 9, 2015

Statement from Scott Reid and Blake Richards responding to comments made by the Minister of Democratic Institutions on the Liberal plan for changing Canada’s electoral system

For immediate release

Today, Conservative democratic institutions critics Scott Reid (Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston) and Blake Richards (Banff-Airdrie) released the following statement responding to comments made in Question Period on December 8, 2015 by the Hon. Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions, respecting the Liberal plan for changing Canada’s electoral system:

“Yesterday during Question Period, Minister Maryam Monsef said consulting Canadians in a referendum on electoral reform would prejudice the Liberal consultation process.”

“We can’t think of a more robust, inclusive consultation process than the holding of a referendum. The Liberal government obviously thinks Canadians can’t be trusted with such a fundamental change to our democracy. We couldn’t disagree more.”

“Not since the 1950s has a Canadian government tried to alter their electoral system without consulting their people in a referendum. Liberal party governments in British Columbia (2005 and 2009), Prince Edward Island (2005), and Ontario (2007) put their proposed reforms to a referendum. In peer countries New Zealand (1992, 1993, and 2011) and the United Kingdom (2011), the people were similarly consulted by way of referenda. Modern democratic history overwhelmingly supports the use of referenda when changes to an electoral system are proposed.

“The Liberal government does not have a mandate to implement whatever new system they decide suits the Liberal party best. Neither the Liberal platform, nor the Liberal government, has proposed an alternative method of electing Members of Parliament; all they have proposed is that the system should change.”

“We’re glad the Minister admitted that Canadians “…deserve to be consulted…”, however, her refusal to give Canadians a vote on the unreleased Liberal plan for electoral reform is stubbornly and profoundly undemocratic.”

“Canadians deserve to see the Liberal proposal, fully formed, and to then have the opportunity to vote to adopt or reject that proposal in a referendum.”

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Scott Reid is the Member of Parliament for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston

and is currently the Shadow Cabinet critic for Democratic Institutions.

He served from 2008 to 2015 as the chairman of the subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

More About Scott  >