Ed Fast’s letter to Minister Monsef on Electoral Reform

December 9, 2016

Dear Minister:

Thank you for your email. I hope you will understand my skepticism regarding your most recent effort to “engage” Canadians by postcard on electoral reform.
First, you asked all of us MPs to engage our communities in determining their views of our electoral system. Over the summer and fall, many of us did just that by various means, including town halls and surveys. It quickly became apparent that you did not appreciate the message Canadians were sending you, namely that any substantive changes to the rules of our democracy require a referendum.
Second, your recent dismissive and hurtful remarks about the work of the Electoral Reform Committee suggested that, after months of consulting Canadians on the future of our electoral system, the committee had not done the work that it had been asked to do. ‎Your statement was patently false, and a slap in the face to all of the committee members who had worked so hard. The committee did exactly what it had been asked to do. It was only that you and your Government did not like the consensus outcome of that process that recommended a national referendum to choose between proportional representation and the status quo.
Now, you’ve embarked upon an online survey process, a “Hail Mary pass” so to speak, which again demonstrates that your Liberal government already has an outcome in mind, one that will only benefit Liberal Party politicians. The survey participants are asked to answer loaded questions that advocate for change without including reference to a referendum that would give Canadians the ultimate choice in deciding how, if at all, the government should change Canada’s electoral system.
Given your unwillingness to actually take the opinions of Canadians seriously and ask for their consent in a referendum, any further effort to consult Canadians, including your most recent “postcard” campaign, will undoubtedly be a sham like your previous efforts. It has become‎ quite apparent that the only input you will consider is that which affirms your Government’s preferred policy.
Accordingly, you should not be surprised to learn that I will NOT‎ be encouraging my community to participate in your MyDemocracy.ca platform. Your effort to co-opt Parliamentarians is simply another transparently obvious ploy to promote your pre-determined electoral agenda. I will not be part of that effort.


Ed Fast, MP (Abbotsford)