An­napo­lis area res­i­dents protest elec­toral re­form re­ver­sal

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - BY LAWRENCE POW­ELL ANNAPOLISCOUNTYSPECTATOR.CA AN­NAPO­LIS ROYAL

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.

CON­TRIB­UTED

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.

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