Joyce Murray campaign receives a boost from groups promoting democratic reform

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      Two groups that oppose the first-past-the-post voting system are ramping up efforts to get supporters to back Joyce Murray's campaign to become the next federal Liberal leader. and Project Democracy held a conference call this evening to explain why they are urging people to get involved.

      Murray, unlike the seven other Liberal leadership candidates, supports her party cooperating with the Greens and NDP at the riding level to defeat Conservative candidates in the next election. She also supports proportional representation, which impresses adviser Julia Pope.

      "Many people of my generation believe the crises facing the world are simply too serious to be shuffled into partisan silos—and that to tackle them will require broad consensus and cooperation across party lines," Pope said during the call.

      She added that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's political strategy is "to divide his opposition and deactivate a significant portion of the voting population".

      "With our broken first-past-the-post electoral system and four parties to the left, Harper can expect to build lasting power and transform the country over the opposition of the majority of the country unless we come together across party lines and enable a different outcome," Pope stated. "We at Leadnow believe that the only way to stop Harper and to achieve progress on the issues Canadians care about right now is for the NDP, the Liberals, and the Greens to cooperate in key ridings to stop vote splitting and defeat the Harper Conservatives—and then change our broken voting system for good."

      There's a March 3 deadline to sign up at to vote in the Liberal leadership race. People don't have to become party members to participate, and there's no fee.

      Last year, and Project Democracy supported Skeena–Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen's unsuccessful bid to win the NDP leadership because he was his party's only candidate supporting cooperation at the riding level with the Greens and Liberals.

      Project Democracy's Christopher Majka stated on the conference call that it's his group's "profound conviction that we need to move as quickly as possible to reform the electoral system in Canada to some form of proportional representation to replace the increasingly archaic and dysfunctional first-past-the-post electoral system".

      "The reality is lots of votes simply don't end up being reflected in the composition of Parliament," he said.

      Jamie Biggar, executive director of, told people on the conference call that the Conservative majority came as a result of winning 14 seats with a plurality of just 6,400 votes.

      A survey of its supporters revealed that more than 95 percent of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed with the notion that Liberals, Greens, and New Democrats should cooperate to defeat Conservative incumbents in ridings where they are vulnerable.

      That's why wants people to support Murray, who's the only one advocating this approach.

      "Everybody right now in Canadian politics is watching to see how many Canadians will stand up and support her in this race," Biggar said.


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      Mar 1, 2013 at 7:00am

      It's always entertaining to listen to those who can't get enough support to get elected suddenly begin talking about electoral "reform". You never heard any Liberals talking about proportional representation when they were in power, but now that they deservedly languish in 3rd place, the system is broken and needs to be fixed.
      Oh, and I see you folks are having another coronation. When will you learn?


      Mar 2, 2013 at 9:29am

      So now NDP,Greens and Libs. are going to gang up on the conservativs?.What platform are these parties going to take?.and was this not tried at the federal level,and did not work as each party wanted something else.Voters should know who is going to run the country.I see any differanc in the way Canada is run now,There are no liberals,WHY because they wernt voted in,so now they want to piggy back with the other parties to try and get back in,as they feel that they have the RIGHT TO RULE .Remember Chretian WE are the LEADERS,and only we can run the country.

      sharon Roebuck

      Mar 2, 2013 at 4:37pm

      Regarding leadership of the Liberal party, it would seem that Joyce Murray should be the one. However, there is no mention of her here in the media: i.e. Ontario. Shouldn't we have information about Murray if she's a serious candidate?


      Mar 3, 2013 at 10:35am

      Harper is trying for gov.reform but Quebec.ndp and libs.dont want him to and vote against it,because its not their idea.Besids the LIBS. have had 40 years to do it and it was not done,because the east would loose some of their voteing seats and the west woul gain a ton and be more equal.Of the sbject why is Quebec allowd to have a sepparist party vote in the elections when all they want is (more mony) to leave Canada?