Jagmeet Singh: First-past-the-post enables ‘fringe’ candidates like Doug Ford
SURREY, B.C. - Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has taken aim at Conservative politicians while lambasting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for abandoning a campaign promise to bring in electoral reform. Singh told his caucus during a retreat in Surrey, B.C., that Trudeau’s explanation for disavowing the promise was that he was worried a new electoral system might facilitate the rise of far-right, fringe parties. NDP members of Parliament laughed and applauded when Singh said first-past-the-post didn’t prevent the election of Premier Doug Ford in Ontario, nor did it stop him from using the notwithstanding clause to continue a “petty vendetta” against Toronto. Ford announced this week he would invoke the rarely used clause to overrule a court decision and reduce the size of Toronto’s city council from 47 councillors to 25. Singh also noted first-past-the-post didn’t stop Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer from appointing a former Rebel Media head as his campaign director, nor did it stop Maxime Bernier from launching an “anti-immigrant” party. He said when an electoral system allows the views of a minority to win out over the majority, it doesn’t stop fringe politicians, it encourages them, and that’s why the NDP must bring in electoral reform.