Who wants a referendum on the reform of the voting system?
There is a broad consensus on the need to reform the current voting system that no longer meets the requirements. The flaws and the remedy are known to improve the representation of citizens in the National Assembly: the addition of a regional proportional component.
The members of the CAQ, PLQ, PQ and QS forming the National Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution supporting the principles of this reform. The Green Party and the NDP-Quebec are also endorsing the reform. This is not nothing because almost 98% of voters voted for one of these six parties. These parties, their leaders and their deputies have explicitly committed themselves knowingly.
The CAQ has a moral duty to table its bill as of next October. The consultation in parliamentary committee will allow a real debate fund by hearing the pros, cons, and caveats and especially the proposals to improve the project to be filed. The public will be able to form an opinion on the basis of a concrete project.
After all these decades of studies, surveys, consultations and polls, what could a referendum be like? Who will form the NO Committee if all parties, MPs and most civil society organizations support the reform? What will be the legitimacy of the result if participation is low? This question is likely to be drowned among dozens of others if it is in the middle of the election campaign of 2022. I have the unpleasant impression that everything is set up to slow down, or even postpone the reform.
Many believe that a party in power can not change the system that allows it to govern alone by electing a majority of MPs despite a minority of votes. They are afraid of opposition from members who want to maintain their ridings and the possibility of being re-elected.
Is Mr. Legault going to prove them right? I suggest that members be free to vote according to their conscience on a law. We will at least have the consolation to know which members are more concerned with keeping their seats than to invest in the noble cause of forming a National Assembly more representative of Quebecers’ choices.