Strong opinions were abound at the town hall meeting on Electoral Reform at the Tweed Lions Hall Tuesday night.
Citizens of the Tweed Municipality debated their varying views on the hot-button topic of changing the way our country votes federally. MP for the Hastings Lennox and Addington Mike Bossio made his third and final stop on his tour through the riding to help educate people on the many different ways you can vote.
The list of political systems include: First Past the Post System, Alternative Vote/Two Round Vote, Proportional Representation, Single Transferable Vote and the Mixed Member Proportional System.
Canada currently votes in a “first past the post” system.
Bossio said that he wanted to make the people of Tweed aware of the principles and values that underlie Canada’s federal electoral system and democracy, like he and his riding did in Bancroft and Bath, their two previous stops.
Another main purpose for the riding was to raise awareness of potential changes to federal electoral system.
Bossio said he was very pleased with the format of the meeting and was happy with how the folks of Tweed engaged with each other and expressed their views in a positive, respectful way.
Bossio explained the five different principles that all go into the political spectrum federally. They include:
Effectiveness/Legitimacy of Voting
Reduces distractions and strengthening the link between voter intention and electoral result.
Engagement/Participation in democratic process
Including younger people and other underrepresented groups.
Accessibility support to voters
Inclusiveness to all eligible voters and avoiding complexity in the voting process.
Protecting voting process.
Accountability of Local Representation
A major strength, especially important for small areas/communities that need support in federal politics
Some other issues brought up in the meeting regarding the electoral system ranged from the reasons why young people are voting less in this day and age, to the ways to get people involved in an election and make your vote count and bringing in political presence into elementary and high schools. Also mentioned was the strengths and weaknesses of all different reforms, the political history in Canada and even prisoner’s rights to vote.
Bossio addressed the crowd of 71 at the end of the meeting.
Bossio added that he and other MPs were in contact with each other about a potential reform, namely Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis, whose assistant was in attendance at the Tuesday meeting.