MONTREAL, May 16, 2019 – MDN is disappointed to learn that the Quebec’s Chief Electoral Officer (DGEQ) has not drawn on the example of Scotland and Wales to schedule a shorter timeline for implementing the new electoral system in Quebec.
“Scotland succeeded in holding elections less than a year after adopting a new voting system. Their solution was simple: use the existing ridings used in British Parliament in Westminster and the regional ridings of the European Parliament, and revise the ridings in a subsequent election. In Quebec, there are already all kinds of natural divisions that could be used for the new electoral map: RCMs, federal ridings and administrative regions. Quebec legislators should do the same. This would allow the DGEQ to deliver the goods within the promised deadline,” said Jean-Pierre Charbonneau, President of MDN.
In the last election, 75% of Quebec voters supported the electoral system reform. Before these last elections, an agreement to reform the electoral system was signed by four parties (CAQ, QS, PQ and the Green Party of Quebec). All four parties support a proportional system based on the principle of equity: the number of seats in the National Assembly must be distributed according to the number of votes each party receives. It is fair, simple and in line with the values of Quebec society.
“We are reassured to see that the CAQ holds to its commitment to reform the voting system, to introduce its bill by October 1 and to have it adopted so that it will be in effect for the next election in 2022. Respecting this commitment will depend on how the National Assembly draws the electoral map during the first election with the new system. The public has already spoken out on many occasions since 1972 and MDN has held numerous consultations that confirm its firm desire for significant progress,” explains Mr. Charbonneau. “Three parties in the National Assembly have committed to reforming the voting system. There was an unanimously adopted motion in the National Assembly, confirming the principles of the agreement and the electoral system reform. Our electoral system is out of date. It’s time to change it. Quebecers deserve a fair and equitable voting system. We must move forward and respect the deadline of the next elections.”
A meeting will be held next week between the MDN and representatives of political parties in the National Assembly.