Monday, October 03, 2016

Rona Ambrose's Desperate Attempt to Sabotage Electoral Reform

You might think that Rona Ambrose's main concern would be the way her allegedly new/nouveau party is turning into a collection of bigots and right-wing religious extremists. 

What with Kellie Leitch trying to scapegoat refugees and immigrants for their "anti-Canadian values."

While Brad Trost stands up for those anti-Canadian values by taking aim at women and gay Canadians.

And the religious fanatic Andrew Scheer threatens to take the Harper Party even further to the right.

But no, the ghastly Ambrose has only one thing on her mind.

Doing what she can stop electoral reform, by once again screaming for a referendum. 

I firmly believe choices about the value of our vote should not be left in the hands of a small group of politicians who have a personal stake in the outcome. Any change to what our vote means can only be made with the consent of the Canadian people. 

The solution is simple: If you want to change the rules of democracy, then voters — not politicians — must have the final say. To make such a monumental change without consulting Canadians would be a clear conflict of interest — one that should worry every Canadian who takes his or her voting rights seriously. And the only way to ensure Canadians are clearly heard is to hold a national referendum.

Even though she must know referendums on complicated questions are easily manipulated, and tend to reinforce the status quo.

And even more importantly or disgracefully, she also must know that organizing and holding a referendum wouldn't leave enough time for the winning choice to be implemented before the next election.

So that election would have to be fought under the same rules as the last one.

But then of course that is why she is screaming for a referendum so loudly. And threatening to use her Senators to block any attempt to change the first-past-the-post system...

So I'm glad that Michael Harris points out that neither Ambrose, nor her bigot party, have any right to pose as the champions of democracy. 

So we’re now to believe that the Conservative Party of Canada has suddenly discovered democracy … you know, the kind of thing the Reform Party once promised but promptly forgot when they emerged from the wilderness to take power. The CPC seriously wants Canadians to accept that it will do anything to block electoral reform unless Justin Trudeau and the Liberals submit their plan to revamp the electoral system to a national referendum.

And ‘anything’, folks, apparently really means anything. Ambrose says she is ready to use the CPC’s majority of hacks, bagmen and shills in the Senate to block legislation.

That’s how deep her commitment is to democracy.

Reminds her that we already had a referendum on electoral reform...

So Ambrose wants a referendum on electoral reform in the name of true democracy. Well, Trudeau and his Liberals just submitted their ideas — including the repeated promise to rid the country of the first-past-the-post electoral system — to the biggest referendum of them all. 

As much as Ambrose and her media enablers may not like it, the results of that poll were decisive. The Liberals won in a landslide and now have the mandate to govern that exceeds any that the Harper Conservatives could have claimed.

And also reminds Ambrose, that when her foul Harper Party Cons were in power, they did all they could to subvert our democracy, without ever even suggesting the idea of a referendum.

Remember the risibly named Fair Elections Act — the one that made voting harder and cheating easier? The one that gelded Elections Canada — first by severing its investigative arm from the main institution, and then by denying powers of subpoena to EC investigators? 

Where was Ambrose’s vehement commitment to democracy when Pierre Poilievre was giving his pathetically partisan response to the Robocalls scandal? Only sad little “Skippy” could confuse doubling-down on skullduggery with reform. Still, Ambrose didn’t seem to mind rigging the electoral system without a referendum when it was her team that was doing the rigging.

But then the Cons are desperate. They know that changing the antiquated first-past- the-post system would destroy their chances of returning to power, for at least a generation. So it really is do or die.

Which is of course just happens to be the best reason for progressives to oppose a referendum.

And instead demand that our elected parliament debate and vote on the issue.

Pass electoral reform in time for the next election.

So we can bury the bigoted anti-Canadian Harper Party once and for all...


  1. Just say no to referendums, its mob rule.

    1. hi Steve...yes it is the closest thing to mob rule on a question as complicated as electoral reform. In Britain, after the Brexit referendum, it was revealed that many of the people who voted to leave the E.U. didn't have clue what they were voting for. And the same thing will happen. We have an elected parliament and it should do its job...

  2. Harris says anything I would have said about Ambrose's contemptible hypocrisy on this matter.

    1. hi thwap...yes Ambrose really is a ghastly hypocrite. The moving expenses story was a big story until she got nailed. And she dare not say the real reason she is against electoral reform. She's also a liar. For while she claims only experts are attending those hearings, many of them have been jammed with ordinary Canadians...

  3. Anonymous11:37 AM

    Even the Toronto Star, hardly CPC mouthpieces, are calling for a referendum on this question.
    Same with Marc Mayrand, Chief electoral officer at Elections Canada.
    If the Liberals think their reform is so good, they won't be afraid to submit it to the verdict of the people.
    I know you and the Liberals favour ranked ballots as it will likely keep the Liberals in power forever. Do you really want that? One-party rule has never served any country. Just look at Mexico, after 70 years of the PRI it had become a cesspool of corruption and never recovered from it.
    Sometimes we need to throw the rascals out. FPTP is good for that. The Harper government were rascals and were thrown out. In a few short years the Trudeau Liberals will be rascals, too.

    1. hi BW...yes I saw the Star editorial, but I'm still not convinced that a referendum is necessary. Justin promised that the last election would be the last time we would use the FPTP system, so I'm not prepared to wait another seven years. As for the kind of system I favour, I'm not a Liberal so at this time at least I favour a system of proportional representation. I like governments where compromise is necessary, I think it better reflects our genius for compromise, and is because of that more Canadian.
      But yes, I do seek any system that would prevent the Cons from ever forming a majority government again. One long nightmare was enough, and hopefully never to be repeated...

  4. Anonymous5:01 PM