Liberal party's demand for electoral-reform council not a priority, Trudeau says

·2 min read

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he doesn't expect his government to move on electoral reform, despite his party membership calling for a national council to examine the issue.

This weekend, grassroots Liberals voted in favour of a resolution that asks the government to create a national citizen's assembly on electoral reform.

The proposal notes that the idea has been on the party books since 2014, and that Trudeau won the 2015 election on a promise to end the current first-past-the-post electoral system.

Speaking with reporters in London, Trudeau says he's more focused on issues such as the economy, adding that he would move ahead with electoral reform if there was consensus on another model.

He also confirms reports that the NDP tried to make electoral reform part of the agreement it formed with the Liberals last year, but the two parties could not agree whether to use a ranked ballot system or proportional representation.

Trudeau says he still prefers a ranked ballot, but argues it wouldn't have been fair to push that system on Canadians using his majority government, which ended in 2019.

"It would be great for Canadians to be able to pick their first or second or their third choice on a given ballot," Trudeau said Sunday. "I continue to hope that we will one day reach consensus."

He suggested his government does not intend to respond to the party membership's resolution, which sought a non-partisan body to examine all options and report back to Parliament.

"The fact is, there is no consensus," Trudeau said.

"I'm going to stay focused on the things that matter the most to Canadians."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2023.

Dylan Robertson, The Canadian Press