Islanders get to choose
Bipartisan legislative committee to engage Islanders on electoral reform before a plebiscite is held in 2016
Islanders will be heading to the polls next year to decide whether to change the way they elect MLAs.
Premier Wade MacLauchlan tabled the White Paper on Democratic Renewal in the P.E.I. legislature on Thursday.
Essentially, a white paper is a document created that initiates public discussion on a given issue.
The process right now sees Islanders vote for a single candidate in their district in what is known as the first-past-the-post system.
Whoever receives the most votes represents the district in the legislature.
MLAs voted unanimously Thursday to begin a process that will engage Islanders, asking whether they want to change that system.
A bipartisan committee made up of MLAs from all three parties in the legislature will handle the task. It will consult Islanders, present an interim report by Nov. 30 that will clarify the question to be posed in a plebiscite and then consult with Islanders again on a final report. Islanders will then vote in the spring of 2016.
MacLauchlan said he heard calls during the recent election campaign for changing the process.
Read the latest blog post from The Guardian’s Teresa Wright about a vote on electoral reform next year.