Reform of the voting system: the opposition met, the liberals are doing it alone

Réforme du mode de scrutin: l'opposition réunie, les libéraux font cavalier seul

All the opposition parties are formally committed on Wednesday to reform the voting system if they are brought to power in October, while the liberal Party is marching to its own and swears by the current system.

In a rare moment of unanimity at the national Assembly, the leader of the Parti québécois, Jean-François Lisée, the Coalition avenir Québec, François Legault, as well as the co-spokesperson of Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and the green Party leader, Alex Tyrrell, appeared together before reporters to announce that in the first year of a mandate that would address one of these parties in power, Quebec would adopt a mode of proportional representation compensatory mixed.

Only the liberal Party has remained on the dock, and categorically refuse any change to the electoral system as it is today. Immediately after the signing of the agreement, the minister responsible for the Reform of democratic institutions, Kathleen Weil, has summoned the press.

Flanked by eight members of the liberal caucus, she wanted to send a clear signal: the QLP update on the status quo, and “demand that the opposition parties put their cards on the table” and explain the ins and outs of a change to the voting system.

“This proposal seems to us, at first sight, cause a prejudice deep towards the regions of Quebec. The objections must be clear and play an honest game with the voters”, said from the outset, the minister Weil.

The liberal Party raises doubts in particular on the stability of successive governments, the representation of the regions and the accountability of mps to the population.

Ms. Weil defends that a large number of consultations on a draft of the reform has taken place since the beginning of the years 2000, and “the consensus is that there is no consensus in the population”.

His colleague Lise Thériault has for its part expressed reservations about the role of mps would be elected from a regional list of candidates, while others will sit in the national Assembly as constituency. “From the moment we are going to talk about a member with a supra, what is his duty, to him, to be here in Parliament? What is its accountability? What is the budget?”, said Ms. Theriault.

Last vote in a round?

As reported The Sun in April last, the three opposition parties had in hand some time since a report of the Mouvement démocratie nouvelle (MDN). They were then positioned in favor of a change in the voting method.

Wednesday, MESSRS. Lisée, Legault, Nadeau-Dubois are committed to the election of 2018 will be the last to vote a tour.

“If it means that the Québécois demands that we work together, because the majorities are not as strong, well, this will be the expression of the popular will, and we plierons”, commented the leader of the PQ. For Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, “this has never happened that the parties agree on the broad parameters of a new mode of election.”

“It is possible to have governments working together, the parties work together to advance the province of Quebec. I think that one is here”, for its part, has responded to the leader of the CAQ, François Legault.

Both have, however, refused to say whether, in the event that the liberals were a minority government in October, the PQ and the CAQ would form a coalition to overturn them.

The CAQ has also proven to be closed to the idea of increasing the number of seats in the national Assembly, which is 125 at the moment.

Let us recall that the Mouvement démocratie nouvelle organized last fall on a tour throughout Quebec to discuss a reform of the voting system.

In the report that emerged from this consultation, DND suggests the introduction of a system of so-called “mixed” because it would include both constituency seats, to be filled in the same way as currently, but that would be in fewer, seats and “compensation” distributed on a regional basis. Each citizen would have two votes, the first would be used to elect a constituency from this or that political formation and the second, to choose a party.

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