Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has unveiled 32 ways he’ll “restore democracy in Canada” if elected.
While some of his proposals were abstract and/or administrative, such as the promise to create a more detailed quarterly parliamentary expense reports, the list included a few bold calls.
1. Keep door-to-door delivery. Trudeau has promised not to scrap door-to-door delivery, a cut the Conservatives said was necessary in order to make up for Canada Post’s waning revenues in the digital age. It’s proved very unpopular with rural and suburban communities and older Canadians, who may rely more on mail.
2. Discuss the possibility of mandatory voting. It’s not clear if he’d ever actually do it, but Trudeau says it’s on the table. Mandatory voting is an increasingly hot-button issue, as voter turnout continues to decline, and some wonder if it’s necessary in order to ensure democracy.
3. Do away with first-past-the-post (FPTP) in time for the next election. FPTP is our current winner-takes-all voting system where the candidate that gets the most votes gets to win the riding — even if that candidate did not earn a majority of votes. This means that parties can actually have very similar percentages of the popular vote, but very different numbers of seats in parliament.
4. Appoint an equal number of men and women to cabinet. About a third of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s candidates are women. Trudeau has also promised to adopt a policy that would increase the presence of women and minorities in government-appointed positions. Women’s rights have been a key feature of Trudeau’s campaign all along, so this move is an expected continuation of his stance.
5. Devote one day each week to grilling the prime minister during question period in the House of Commons. Much has been made of Harper’s recalcitrance, both during question period and with the media. Trudeau promises a more open approach, and pledges to let all MPs — not just party leaders — have at him one day a week.
6. Reopen the nine veteran’s service stations closed by Harper. The Conservatives have taken a lot of flak for their cuts to Veteran’s Affairs, and promising to re-open them is a pretty direct attack on Harper’s legacy.
7. Bring back long-form census. In a move frequently attacked by academics and researches, Harper did away with the mandatory long-form census in 2011. By bringing it back, Trudeau sets himself up as Big-Data savvy leader who knows how to make nice with Canada’s big brains.
- With files from the Canadian Press