Feb. 1, 2017
OTTAWA, ON (By Jake Wray)—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that his government will once again resume its efforts to reform the Canadian electoral system.
In a letter released publicly on Wednesday, Trudeau told his new minister of democratic institutions, Karina Gould, that electoral reform was no longer a priority. After facing severe backlash from opposition politicians and members of the public, the prime minister hastily convened a press conference Wednesday evening where he told reporters electoral reform is back on the table.
“We initially stepped away from reform because we lacked broad support from the Canadian public in that initiative,” Trudeau said. “But it is now evident that we also lack the broad public support necessary to stop exploring electoral reform.”
Nathan Cullen, the New Democratic Party’s democratic reform critic, said to reporters after the press conference that sudden policy reversal is typical for the Liberals under Trudeau.
“The prime minister already broke one promise when he said his government wouldn’t pursue electoral reform any further. It’s no surprise he broke a second promise as well,” Cullen said. “It doesn’t matter that the two broken promises cancel each other out. He lied. The prime minister lied and, frankly, we have no assurances that he won’t break his third promise by once again abandoning reform.”
A source within the prime minister’s office, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the government is considering giving up on trying anything ever again.
“It seems we can’t do anything without pissing someone off. There is genuine confusion about how to drum up broad public support for our initiatives,” the source said in a phone interview. “Marijuana legalization, reconciliation with First Nations and of course electoral reform are all in jeopardy right now. We might just abandon all of our promises and ride out the rest of our term in a position of comfortable power.”
Article originally appeared in The Burrard Street Journal