Referendum the only legitimate way to reform the electoral system: Ambrose

December 28, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OTTAWA — The Liberal government cannot make a fundamental change to the way Canadians elect their federal representatives without bringing that change forward in a referendum, Opposition Leader Rona Ambrose said today. Her call came after the Liberal government ruled out a referendum on their as-yet-undefined changes to the electoral system, and signaled a parliamentary committee was sufficient to make those changes.

“When you change the rules of democracy, everyone gets to have a say. If the Liberals want to make a fundamental change to our country’s voting system, the process must not be dominated by one political party’s interests,” said the interim Conservative leader. “A committee comprised of a select number of parliamentarians studying electoral reform is not, and never will be, a substitute for all Canadians having their voices heard directly. This Liberal committee scheme is simply a vehicle through which they can impose their own pre-determined agenda without any meaningful way to restrain them.

“The Liberals have no legitimate case to claim that their House of Commons majority — delivered through a system they claim is no longer valid — gives them a mandate to unilaterally change our voting system,” said Ambrose. “It is arrogant of the Liberals to believe they are entitled to make a change of this magnitude to our democracy without bringing it directly to the people first. The Conservatives will fight this illegitimate and arrogant Liberal approach every step of the way and demand that all Canadians have a voice through a referendum.”

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