Federal reform of the voting system: Quebec wants its say

1190203(Quebec) Quebec wants its say if the reform of the voting system envisaged by the Trudeau government affects the functioning of the federal Parliament.

The Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions, Rita de Santis, recognizes that Ottawa has the power to amend the Federal Electoral Act. But she warns that changing the rules of the House of Commons could be challenged on constitutional arguments.

“If the operation of the House of Commons is affected, there are constitutional issues, said Ms. de Santis. If there are constitutional issues, Quebec will bring to the table its own arguments on all sorts of subjects. ”

The Trudeau government created Wednesday a parliamentary committee to reconsider the voting system. The committee will also consider mandatory voting and electronic voting.

In campaign, Trudeau promised that the elections in 2015 would be the last to be held under the plurality system in one round. He spoke in favor of the alternative vote system, whereby voters vote for candidates in order of preference.

The federal government has assured however not launch its consultation with a preconceived idea.

Minister Santis awaits the report of the parliamentary committee and will monitor federal efforts. She considers normal that Ottawa is considering a reform of the voting system, but she recalls that a similar exercise was tried in Quebec without a solution is found.

“We need the population, and all other actors involved, reach consensus,” warned the minister.

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