Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Pollcast: The Liberals' electoral reform gambit

On Wednesday, the Liberals announced they would be striking an all-party committee to study options for changing the way Canadians vote. The intention is to ensure that the 2015 election will be the last decided under the first-past-the-post system.

But this all-party committee includes two parties, the Greens and Bloc Québécois, that won't be able to vote on how Canadians should vote. And a majority of the seats on the committee will be held by Liberals.

Has the Liberal government stacked the deck in their favour, as the opposition parties claim? What about holding a referendum to put the government's electoral reform proposal to Canadians? And can a change to the way Canadians vote be implemented in time for the next election in 2019?

Joining me to try to answer these questions on the latest episode of the Pollcast are the CBC Parliamentary Bureau's Aaron Wherry and Alison Crawford.

You can listen to this podcast here.

Partisan interests difficult to avoid in electoral reform debate

"This is not about what's good for one party over another," said Maryam Monsef, minister of democratic institutions, on Wednesday after announcing the Liberal plan to set up a committee that will look into changing the voting system.

"This is about what's in the best interests of Canadians."

Maybe. But the fact remains that some parties stand to do better than others, depending on which rules are in place by the next election. And the people who will be deciding on the rules just happen to be those who will be most affected by them.

You can read the rest of this analysis on electoral reform here.

How Conservative and NDP leadership contenders stack up on the money

Money talks — especially in party leadership races, and the money raised in recent years by potential Conservative and NDP leadership contestants suggests that a few candidates could prove to be more formidable than currently thought.

And others may have more of an uphill climb ahead of them.

Contributions received by sitting MPs, as reported in the financial returns of their electoral district associations can be indicative of a leadership contestant's potential success.

You can read the rest of this article here.