Special to The Standard
LINDSAY: The Liberal government wants to change the way Canadians elect their federal representatives, without first consulting Canadians by referendum. The Liberals have no mandate to transform Canada’s oldest form of democracy, and any attempt to do so without consent from the electorate would be unconstitutional.
59 Conservative MPs took it upon themselves to give their constituents the opportunity to have their opinion heard, by sending out their own reform referendum. Ballots went out and an overwhelming response was received. Local MP Jamie Schmale released the results of the latest riding-wide constituency referendum, on Monday of this week. Nearly 90 per cent of all electoral reform respondents, across Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, say they are in favour of a referendum on electoral reform.
“The Special Committee on Electoral Reform asked to hear from all Canadians,” said Schmale. “Electoral reform is an important issue that impacts all Canadians, and joining a number of caucus colleagues across the country, I sought the wishes of local residents on this national issue.”
In Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock 2,446 ballots were cast. Each ballot contained the following question “Before changing how we elect our MPs, should the government hold a referendum to get the approval of Canadians?”. 87 percent (2,127 votes) of respondents were in favour of a referendum on electoral reform, while 11.7 percent (286 votes) were opposed, and 1.3 percent (33 votes) were undecided.
Nationally 81,389 ballots were cast, and 91 percent (73,740) of respondents were in favour of a referendum, 8.1 percent (6,622) were opposed, and 1.3 percent (1,027) were undecided.
“I believe that it’s important that all Canadians, not just politicians, have clear input on an issue that will affect the way we elect our country’s leaders,” said Schmale. “This constituency referendum gave residents the opportunity to have their voices heard and provide their opinions on this issue.
“Both locally, right in in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, and nationally, the results are clear,” said Schmale. “A referendum is what Canadians want and expect when it comes to electoral reform, because when you change the rules of democracy, every Canadian deserves a say."
Schmale noted that the responses, letters and feedback he has received since releasing his constituency referendum on electoral reform, demonstrates the passion local residents have for issues of national importance.
“Our constituents are engaged, they are passionate and they deserve to have their voices heard,” he said. “I would like to thank each and every one of the constituents across Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, who took the time to express their views and [took] part in this constituency referendum.”