MONTREAL, April 4, 2019 – Unofficial translation – A major step was taken yesterday in the National Assembly with the unanimous adoption of a motion introduced by MP Sol Zanetti, jointly with Minister Sonia Lebel and MPs Harold Lebel and Catherine Fournier. All elected officials, including the Liberals present, voted in favour of the motion reaffirming the principles of the cross-party agreement signed in May 2018 with the support of the Mouvement Démocratie Nouvelle, principles that must prevail for any reform of the voting system in Quebec.
“For the first time since the beginning of the process initiated in the spring of 2016, all elected officials of the National Assembly have agreed on the principles that have guided the electoral reform project to date”, says MDN President Jean-Pierre Charbonneau. “It is therefore now impossible to maintain the status quo and argue in its favour because the current voting system does not respect all these principles.”
Liberal Party representatives had participated in the first cross-party meetings organized by MDN in 2016, but the party broke away from the process when the opposition parties publicly committed to work together on the basis of these principles to achieve reform following the 2018 elections.
“With this unanimous vote, we invite the Quebec Liberal Party to participate in the cross-party work that is underway so that all parties represented in the National Assembly can agree on a consensual proposal for a voting system that will enjoy the broadest support,” added Jean-Pierre Charbonneau.
One of the principles stated: respect for the political weight of the regions
MDN also welcomes the statement by the President of the Fédération québécoise des municipalités, Mayor Jacques Demers, who yesterday reiterated the need to preserve the political weight of the regions while avoiding speaking out against the proposed reform of the voting system. This is an important opening for the FQM, which now presents itself as a positive actor of change.
“It is agreed by all political parties that the political weight of the regions must be preserved,” said the MDN President. “We also believe that the proposed reform will ensure a better representation of the popular will expressed in each region and allow even more access than at present to elected representatives, because there will be both constituency and regional compensation deputies from different parties.” It has been agreed so far that no region will lose seats in the context of the upcoming electoral reform.
MDN also agrees with the President of the FQM when he pleads for future MPs from the new voting system to have the means to properly represent the population of their electoral territory.
To learn more about the Every Voice Counts campaign led by the MDN since 2016: www.chaquevoixcompte.com
ABOUT THE MDN
Mouvement démocratie nouvelle (MDN) is a non-partisan citizen’s group, which has been striving for 20 years to achieve electoral reform, based on multiple public consultations and international experience. MDN would like to achieve an electoral system that will better represent the popular will, and which will foster equality of the sexes, Québec diversity, the role of the regions in the Québec reality, and political pluralism. In the spring of 2016 MDN began a trans-partisan process, that culminated in a historic agreement in May 2018, in which the opposition party leaders committed to work together to come up with an electoral reform bill by October 1 2019.
Mouvement démocratie nouvelle
INFORMATIONS : Jean-Sébastien Dufresne
Director general of Mouvement démocratie nouvelle