Lib­er­als de­feat NDP mo­tion on bro­ken elec­toral re­form prom­ise

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

The Lib­er­als have de­feated a mo­tion that ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of mis­lead­ing Cana­di­ans on elec­toral re­form and de­manded they apol­o­gize for their bro­ken prom­ise.

The mo­tion put for­ward in the House of Com­mons by the New Democrats was re­jected 175 to 129 Tues­day.

“Be­lieve me when I say this ain’t over,’’ NDP MP Nathan Cullen said Tues­day af­ter the vote.

“Cana­di­ans ex­pected more from this prime min­is­ter. They be­lieved that he was go­ing to be dif­fer­ent, and this be­trayal of such a black-and­white prom­ise shows him to be, un­for­tu­nately, more of the cyn­i­cal same,’’ said Cullen, the NDP critic for elec­toral re­form.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau promised in the Lib­eral cam­paign plat­form and in the sub­se­quent speech from the throne to change the way Cana­di­ans cast their bal­lots in time for 2019.

The Lib­eral gov­ern­ment aban­doned that idea ear­lier this month, ar­gu­ing their con­sul­ta­tions on the is­sue did not pro­duce a con­sen­sus on whether to change the sta­tus quo, as promised, or what should re­place the cur­rent first-past-the-post vot­ing system.

Dur­ing ques­tion pe­riod in the House of Com­mons Tues­day, Cullen pressed Trudeau for an apol­ogy.

“Cana­di­ans voted for a change from a gov­ern­ment that had been un­able to de­liver on eco­nomic growth for the mid­dle class, had been un­able to de­liver the kind of vi­sion for this coun­try that Cana­di­ans needed,’’ Trudeau replied.

The Con­ser­va­tives, the Bloc Que­be­cois and Green party leader El­iz­a­beth May voted with the New Democrats on the op­po­si­tion day mo­tion.

Demo­cratic In­sti­tu­tions Min­is­ter Ka­rina Gould ac­knowl­edged some younger vot­ers were dis­ap­pointed with the Lib­er­als’ choice not to go ahead with elec­toral re­form.

“I was very heart­ened over the past cou­ple of weeks to see peo­ple reg­is­ter their dis­ap­point­ment, or to en­gage, be­cause I think it’s a hallmark of our democ­racy that we can both agree and dis­agree equally as peace­fully and have those con­ver­sa­tions,’’ Gould said in the Se­nate cham­ber dur­ing ques­tion pe­riod Tues­day.

That was in re­sponse to a ques­tion from In­de­pen­dent Sen. Marilou McPhe­dran, who said she had seen “a surge of anger, dis­ap­point­ment, heart­break and . . . a dis­tinc­tive rise in cyn­i­cism re­turned to the gen­er­a­tion’’ on so­cial me­dia as a re­sult of the de­ci­sion to give up on the pledge. She wanted to know what Gould was do­ing to ad­dress it.

Gould, 29, pointed out that she too is a young Cana­dian.

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