In the House - Electoral Reform

Mr. David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre, NDP): Madam Speaker, a lot of promises are made on the campaign trail. Some are big ticket items, some are local concerns, some promises are made once, and some promises are made 1,813 times.

Changing the electoral system was a major plank of the Liberal platform. We have had the special committee, cross-country consultations, as well as a national survey. However, instead of taking the report of the special committee seriously, the government attacked the committee, and then abandoned its promise to make 2015 the last election conducted under the unfair first-past-the-post system. Among the Prime Minister's more outlandish excuses for breaking his promise was the fearmongering that proportional representation would risk our democracy by allowing extremist parties to take power. Really? Where was the Prime Minister's concern about extremist governments when Stephen Harper got 100% of the power with only 39.6% of the vote because of first past the post? The Liberals got even less with 39.5%.

PR means 39% of the vote only gets you 39% of the seats.