Saturday, 4 February 2017

Trudeau's big lie

I am reluctant to refer to my prime minister as a liar, particularly when I generally hold him in high regard, but when the lie reaches a certain magnitude, one's hand is forced. And this was a very big one—a whopper.

The promise was unequivocal. The Liberal election platform of 2015 stated: "We will make every vote count. We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system. ...Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform."

And in Governor General David Johnston's speech from the throne: "To make sure that every vote counts, the Government will undertake consultations on electoral reform, and will take action to ensure that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system."

And yet this week, Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould was informed "changing the electoral system will not be in your mandate." It was all a lie folks, all a lie.

The Prime Minister compounded the lie with his explanation. "There is no consensus," he said, "There is no clear path forward." In fact, the government's own Special Committee on Electoral Reform reported a consensus and pointed a clear path forward with its recommendation that "The Government hold a referendum, in which the current system is on the ballot" and that "the referendum propose a proportional electoral system that achieves a Gallagher Index score of 5 or less." The committee reported that the views of the overwhelming majority of the experts and citizens that presented submissions favoured proportional representation. Trudeau's gratuitous dismissal of both the committee's months of hard work and its recommendations illustrated his cynical manipulation of both them and us.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, a member of the committee, responded "I am deeply afraid that this betrayal will strike much more deeply in the hearts of Canadians than Prime Minister Trudeau realizes," and warned him that in these times of dangerous politics, cynicism has led to populist revolts in other countries. And we don't have to look far to see the truth of her words.

What’s the next big lie to be revealed, Mr. Trudeau? Your environmental promises perhaps?

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