Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Ron Bowman's sign: PM Trudeau & your Liberal MP promised to replace our 150 yr old unfair voting system - it seems we were lied to... that's #RealBetrayal

Ron Bowman at the 2017 Multicultural Festival

Rt. Hon. Prime Minster Justin Trudeau

Dear Mr. Trudeau,

By walking away from your promise to reform Canada‘s First Past the Post (FPTP) electoral system, you have shown Canadians that you do not represent “Real Change”, but the same old “say anything to get elected” behaviour that we’ve seen so often in the past from politicians.

You campaigned on a promise to replace FPTP before the next federal election in 2019. This promise did not include a prerequisite for a broad consensus or an overwhelming indication from the public that they care about this issue. Upon reflection it seems possible that you may have had no intention of fulfilling this commitment from the outset.

With regard to the reasons you have publicly stated for your decision, I would say to you that leadership is more complex than exclusively peddling one‘s own views like Stephen Harper did with his majority, or what you seem to suggest is your “modus operandi”… only undertaking actions which have broad support and interest from the public. Your father understood that when he repatriated the constitution in Canada in 1982. Had Pierre Trudeau not demonstrated leadership at the time but waited instead for “consensus among Canadians” on how, or even whether, to do so, or did nothing at all, we would still be functioning under the British North America Act of 1867.

You and Minister Gould have stated that we cannot agree on how to, or if we should reform our electoral system, despite clear recommendations from the Law Commission of Canada in 2004 and the all party committee in 2016. Both recommended replacing First Past the Post and both recommended some form of Proportional Representation.

Anyone that accepts your excuses on this broken promise, especially die hard Liberals, would do well to remember that a new government in the future can undo every single good thing they feel you have done. If for example, an ideologue like Kevin O’Leary assumes leadership of the Conservative Party, and becomes Prime Minister with a majority, we’ll likely see another Harper style gutting of most of your accomplishments.

Sadly, with this one major broken promise, you have shown yourself to be just another self serving disingenuous politician, not a catalyst for progressive change. I know a few people that were lured back to the polls in 2015, some at my personal prompting… after years of not voting because you specifically promised to make every vote count for something. Your decision to abandon that promise for tenuous reasons, will very likely discourage them from voting in 2019.

I became a supporter of the Liberal party before the last election, I now completely and unreservedly withdraw that support. Further, because of this most deceitful act, I will actively campaign against your government between now and the next federal election. For me, that will very likely include regular picketing at each local MP’s office copied on this email as well as at public events that they attend.

In 2019, the possibility of lower voter turnout after your “charisma” has faded significantly, together with a split non Conservative vote, may result in a Conservative government. lf it does, all l can say is, “that‘s the way the FPTP cookie crumbles”. You had a chance to make things better and opted for your own short term self interest instead.

Sincerely,

This letter was originally published on Twitter on 7 February 2017. You can follow Ron Bowman as @RetiredCdnRJB.