My Submission to the ERRE House of Commons committee on Electoral Reform

Submission to the special ERRE Committee of the House of Commons.

I have been watching or reading the transcripts of as many of the hearings as I can and I have come to a rather alarming conclusion. The present discussions are about remixing the mix, not making the mix more people orientated and inclusive.

The first section of the mandate of the committee is to research ways to: and I quote

Effectiveness and legitimacy: that the proposed measure would increase public confidence among Canadians that their democratic will, as expressed by their votes, will be fairly translated and that the proposed measure reduces distortion and strengthens the link between voter intention and the election of representatives;

In all the watching and reading I have done it is clear that while STV has some advantages there is only one method of voting that will be inclusive if it is allowed to be.MMP with a secondary list for choice of party representatives will be, if allowed, inclusive of those parties registered with Elections Canada but so far not represented in the House of Commons. It matters not if those lists are open or closed if they exclude seventeen duly registered parties conforming to Elections Canada obligations, but not rich enough to compete with the current costs of a national election. By deliberate exclusion at Town Hall meetings, TV debates , local or national forums, these parties have had little chance of having their ideas heard by the general population.

While you are not here to discuss the conduct of the campaigns, you are to determine how the interests of the people are best served. When I asked Ms. May at her town hall in Sidney BC about this she suggested that any party with 5-10% of the vote should be allowed to have a list, which would exclude her party and the Bloq from having a list of representatives for the second choice and would in fact be very exclusive. We are heading into a new system and to take old figures into that system would be a rather backward step in my view.

My suggestion for your consideration is that any party that runs a candidate in a riding has the right to present a secondary list for the voters in that riding.

There is no doubt that the small registered parties have some very good ideas for Canada and Canadians and are not encumbered by donors needs and desires. To be blunt they represent their members and Canadians, not outside interests or lobbyists, and they should be included in the process of government not excluded as they are now

.By having the small parties submit lists the Canadian people would have the ability to choose for greater representation than the established party MPs are capable of providing under their current party discipline systems; new ideas and real representation can only be good for Canada.

I will be attending the 27th September meeting in Victoria BC, and if not invited to submit this proposal I will be in line to ask questions of you about this.

Thank you

Jeremy Arney

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