Trudeau de­fends ‘turn­ing his back’ on elec­tion re­form

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - KRISTY KIRKUP

YEL­LOWKNIFE — Justin Trudeau is de­fend­ing his de­ci­sion to aban­don his Lib­eral gov­ern­ment’s prom­ise to change how Cana­di­ans choose their fed­eral lead­ers.

Speak­ing in Yel­lowknife, the prime min­is­ter said he turned his back on the prom­ise — his words — be­cause he feared pro­ceed­ing would fos­ter po­lit­i­cal dis­cord.

He also said he’s pre­pared to ac­cept the po­lit­i­cal con­se­quences, what­ever they may be.

Trudeau ap­peared to be ex­pand­ing on re­marks he made Thurs­day when he cited Tory lead­er­ship can­di­date Kel­lie Leitch as an ex­am­ple of some­one who ought not be given too much sway in Par­lia­ment.

He made those re­marks in Iqaluit while con­vers­ing with a woman who wanted to know why he did not be­lieve a sys­tem of pro­por­tional representation should re­place the cur­rent first-past-the-post vot­ing sys­tem.

Leitch, an On­tario MP, has pro­posed screen­ing would-be im­mi­grants and refugees for “anti-Cana­dian val­ues.”

On Fri­day, Trudeau was asked by a per­son in the crowd about why he aban­doned the elec­toral prom­ise. “It is be­cause I felt it was not in the best in­ter­ests of our coun­try and of our fu­ture that I turned my back on that prom­ise,” Trudeau said.

“I know peo­ple will be dis­ap­pointed, yep,” he con­tin­ued as boos echoed from the crowd.

On Thurs­day, a live mi­cro­phone picked up Trudeau’s con­ver­sa­tion with a mem­ber of the crowd as the two dis­cussed the ques­tion of pro­por­tional representation, a sys­tem ad­vo­cates say would be more re­flec­tive of the will of vot­ers.

“Do you think that Kel­lie Leitch should have her own party?” Trudeau was heard to say.

The woman sug­gested Leitch was part of a dif­fer­ent con­ver­sa­tion, but Trudeau in­sisted it was not.

“Be­cause if you have a party that rep­re­sents the fringe voices ... or the pe­riph­ery of our per­spec­tives and they hold 10, 15, 20 seats in the House, they end up hold­ing the bal­ance of power.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.