Annapolis area residents protest electoral reform reversal
Residents in the Annapolis Royal area want every one of their federal votes to count.
They took to the street Feb. 11 to protest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s reversal on electoral reform and invited West Nova Liberal MP Colin Fraser to talk to them – which he did.
Trudeau campaigned on the promise that first-past-the-post would be passé by the next election but recently reversed the electoral reform process citing a lack of consensus.
Laurie Mcgowan was one of a handful of protestors at the lights in Annapolis Royal last Saturday. He said Trudeau broke his promise of “no more first-past-the-post elections.” Ten people participated in the hastily-prepared event, though it was part of a network of rallies across the country, Mcgowan said.
Mcgowan believes the reversal was Trudeau’s – akin to an executive order.
“This was clearly a one-man decision,” he said. “Maybe President (Donald) Trump would like President Trudeau’s style.”
Protesters carried signs that said “Count My Vote,” “Make Every Vote Count,” “Honk 4 Electoral Reform” and “Electoral Reform – Yes.”
Mcgowan said the group was thankful Fraser met with them on such short notice.
“He thanked us for letting him know how we felt about this important issue,” Mcgowan said, adding that Fraser said he would communicate their concerns to the prime minister.
“The response from passersby, as measured in car horn honks, was excellent,” said Mcgowan. “Better than usual, and I’m sure that Mr. Fraser noted this. Most of those people honking horns likely voted Liberal in the last election.”
Mcgowan said people who want more information about electoral reform can find a good explanation on the Fair Vote NS website: http://www. fairvotenovascotia.ca/.
“Nationally, Liberals earned the votes of 39.5 per cent of Canadian voters,” said Andy Blair, president of Fair Vote Nova Scotia, in a post on the group’s website. “Yet the voting system handed them 54.4 per cent of the seats in the House of Commons. This is a majority government – on only a minority of the vote. The desire for change was clearly evident in the results, but our winner-take-all system granted the Liberal Party many more seats than their vote merits – and shut out other voices to do so.”
A list of some of the participating cities and towns may be found at https://docs.google.com/ document/d/1c9ar6ilph_ zqh8n81ibhaqpezj5fknlh-gbwiqpxvf8/edit.
Residents from the Annapolis Royal area stood in front of the United Church Feb. 11 to protest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s reversal on electoral reform. West Nova Liberal MP Colin Fraser, fourth from left, met with the concerned citizens.