Democratic reform has always been an issue close to the heart of our movement, from adopting a fairer electoral system to ensuring clean, ethical, accountable government. We understand that a government should reflect the people it represents, that it should be transparent and accountable, and that it should represent promote the best interests of all Canadians, not just those who are wealthy enough to afford lobbyists.
But under the Liberals and Conservatives, Canada isn’t doing too well on this front. At the rate that Canada is going, it will be sixty years before Canada achieves gender parity in Parliament. Racialized Canadians and people living with disabilities are also significantly underrepresented. Powerful lobbyists hold great influence over policy decisions, and Trudeau’s Liberals have been all too happy to accept donations from people who want to have the ear of the Prime Minister and his cabinet.
As leader and Prime Minister, Charlie will replace the unfair first-past-the-post electoral system and tighten rules governing the behavior of elected officials and lobbyists.
What Charlie will do
Reform Canada’s electoral system by bringing in a mixed-member proportional system.
Charlie will build on the hard work done by New Democrat MPs in the last year and ensure that Canada’s unfair, first-past-the-post electoral system is finally replaced with a mixed-member proportional system. As Prime Minister, Charlie will put forward enabling legislation in the first six months of an NDP government, including a provision for a referendum after two elections, and appoint an all-party task force to decide on the specifics of the new system. MMP has been shown in other countries to significantly increase the number of women and racialized minorities elected, in addition to reflecting the real party preferences of voters.
Ensure that the new electoral system respects Canada’s regions and regional diversity.
Canada is a large country with distinct regional identities, needs and aspirations. Charlie recognizes that Canada’s diversity is worth protecting in its electoral system, and will ensure that the new electoral system respects the diversity and character of Canada's regions.
Ensure that the new electoral system respects Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples.
In recognition of the nation-to-nation and treaty relationships that exist between Canada and Indigenous Peoples, Charlie would ensure that they are appropriately represented through treaty region seats or other instruments, to be determined in nation-to-nation dialogue.
Create a Candidates with Disabilities Fund through Elections Canada
This fund would offer grants to political candidates who have a disability and face cost barriers to participating in election campaigns. For instance, funding could be available for wheelchair transportation or sign language interpretation.
Tighten rules around lobbying and ethics.
Liberal and Conservative governments have had cozy relations with lobbyists and consultants for generations. Charlie would change that by tightening the rules around lobbying and ethics to assure Canadians that Canada’s first NDP government will also be its cleanest.
Make election day a federal holiday.
Too many Canadians are prevented from voting by having to juggle jobs, childcare, and other priorities – this is the reality for the new working class. Charlie would give them a break and make election day a federal holiday, to give everyone a chance to make their voice heard.