Liberals endorse Cullen’s “Skeena model” to study how Canadians vote

OTTAWA  - It’s the Skeena model, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP and Democratic Reform critic Nathan Cullen said of his proposal for proportional representation the government accepted today to finally kickstart a parliamentary committee that will study changes to how Canadians vote.

“Like Canada, Skeena-Bulkley Valley is a vast and diverse riding that deals with a host of highly charged, complex issues,” Cullen said.  “The way we get things done here in the Northwest is to respectfully listen to what everyone has to say and then try to construct decisions that are based on the shared wisdom of all.

“The process of giving everyone a say so that meaningful compromises are made that fairly reflect what we can all live with is the only way to reach long-lasting solutions.”

The Liberals agreed today to support Cullen’s February proposal to establish a democratic reform committee that represents all parties in Parliament and does not give an advantage to any single party.

“This is a positive first step towards what we hope will be meaningful democratic reform for Canadians,” said Cullen.  “The important victory that we secured today means that all Canadians will be better heard through this process.”

For five months, the NDP has been forwarding proposals and asking the Liberal government to take meaningful steps on the fundamental issue of changing the current electoral system beyond the current winner-take-all, First Past the Post system.

"If the process is seen as, and is, fair and trusted by Canadians, then it greatly improves the chances that the result will be fair and trusted by Canadians," Cullen said. "The government agreed with us today that no one party should have the power to unilaterally push through changes to our voting system."

The NDP motion is expected to pass with government support next week.

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Contact:         Shelley Browne, 250-877-4140;