History of Local PR

History of Local PR

Local PR grew out of work requested by the Parliamentary Special Committee on Electoral Reform (ERRE) and an active group of Guelph (Ontario) citizens.

As it became clear in early January, 2017, that Mr. Trudeau was backing away from his PR promise, the Guelph group commissioned a poll of 1,500 Guelph households. Of the 80% that had an opinion on PR, almost 80% said they were concerned about the broken promise and wanted some form of PR.

When the group presented this to their local MP, Lloyd Longfield, he said this was important data that he would present to the House. But, Mr. Longfield wanted “an actionable proposal” (e.g. a specific system) to go along with it. Furthermore, that system needed to respect existing riding boundaries, not add any new MPs, and maintain a strong link between electors and the elected. Mr. Longfield also asked for strong evidence that the broader community, “not just the usual suspects”, supported the system the Guelph group put forward.

The constraints requested by Mr. Longfield were similar to those imposed by ERRE in their Oct. 20, 2016, request to Byron Weber Becker for models.

After discussion with significant stakeholders all of the major parties and public consultation, the group decided to put forward a variation of Mr. Becker’s work for the ERRE. This model is now known as “Local PR”.

The original group of Guelph citizens has expanded and is now known as “Democracy Guelph”. They are gathering Guelph petition signatures to show Mr. Longfield the strong support he wanted to see before advancing Local PR in parliament.

Other groups like Democracy Guelph (local, multi-party and nonpartisan) are developing in other ridings to provide petition support for their own MPs. Local petition signatures prove to MPs that their local citizens want Local PR for Canada by 2019.

A new non-profit All Votes Count Canada has been founded to provide communications infrastructure and policy support to all these local campaigns.