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Opinion

Liberal government may have just set its own electoral-reform promise ablaze

By Sarah Schmidt      

The weeks ahead may yield some surprises yet, and Canadians may finally get truly fair and democratic elections by 2019, as was promised to them. But if the tack taken last week by the government in response to the final report of the special parliamentary committee on electoral reform is any indication, I won’t hold my breath.

Members of the all-party Special Committee on Electoral Reform speak to the media on Dec. 1 after tabling its report, which recommended holding a national referendum on a proportional representation system. Bloc Québécois MP Luc Thériault; Conservative MP and vice-chair Scott Reid; Liberal MP and chair Francis Scarpaleggia; NDP and vice-chair MP Nathan Cullen; Green party leader Elizabeth May; and CBC reporter Elizabeth Thompson, moderator of the press conference. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

TORONTO—So this may be a first. A political party campaigns on a clear commitment to do something big and bold in a doable time frame. It gets elected because it made big and bold promises, including this one.

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