Jun 23 2016 – Ottawa – Francis Scarpaleggia, Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Louis and Chair of the National Liberal Caucus, has been elected Chair of the House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform that will broadly consult Canadians on how to change Canada’s first-past-the-post voting system.
“I am honoured to be part of this historic process to examine options available for modifying Canada’s electoral system so that the distribution of seats in the House of Commons better reflects each party’s share of the popular vote,” said the West Island M.P. “I look forward to working with my colleagues from all parties to create and execute a consultative process that gives Canadians from every part of the country the opportunity to weigh in on the kind of voting system they feel is best suited to Canada’s democracy in the 21st century,” Scarpaleggia added.
The composition of the committee is as follows: five (5) Liberals, including the committee chair; three (3) Conservatives; two (2) NDP members; one (1) Green; and one (1) Bloc member. Liberals will thus be a minority on the committee and the Green and Bloc members will have a vote and the right to move motions. The government compromised on its original proposal to have the composition of the committee reflect that of the House of Commons, with Liberals holding a majority.
The committee’s work in recommending changes to the current voting system will be guided by five key principles: the need to reduce distortion in the system and strengthen the link between voter intention and the election of representatives; the need to foster greater collaboration in politics and offer opportunities for inclusion of underrepresented groups in the political process; the need to support access by all eligible voters regardless of physical or social condition; the need to preserve the integrity of the voting system in terms of vote secrecy and security for individual Canadians; and finally, the need to ensure the accountability of elected representatives to local citizens and local needs.