Coalition for Proportional Representation marks 1st round of democratic renewal consultations

A group that supports proportional representation on P.E.I. continues to push for an overhaul of the electoral system after one month of public consultations.

Province wraps up inital round of consultations on proportional representation

Members of the Coalition for Proportional Representation. From left to right: Ron Kelly, Marie Burge, Brenda Oslawsky. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

A group that supports proportional representation on P.E.I. continues to push for an overhaul of the electoral system after one month of public consultations. 

The Coalition for Proportional Representation gathered to share highlights from consultations across the Island Tuesday morning.

"We have been heartened by the support for proportional representation that Islanders have been presenting in hearings across the Island," said coalition member Marie Burge.

Some people claim that Islanders are resistant to changes in the province's political system, but the reality is that the Prince Edward Island political system has changed frequently.- Ron Kelly, coalition member

Burge said the coalition will closely follow the recommendations put forward by the Special Committee on Democratic Renewal in the fall sitting of the Legislature

"We're confident that a move to the proportional representation will produce both a positive and acceptable level of change for voters in P.E.I.," said Burge. 

Coalition member Ron Kelly said P.E.I's political system has evolved over time. 

"Some people claim that Islanders are resistant to changes in the province's political system, but the reality is that the Prince Edward Island political system has changed frequently over the years. It was just 20 years ago, for example, that we went with our current system of 27 single-member ridings," said Kelly.  

Coalition for Proportional Representation members share results of first round of consultation. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

More than 90 countries use proportional representation 

The group says a growing number of countries have adopted proportional representation electoral systems and moved away from the first-past-the-post systems like the one currently in place. 

"Over 90 countries around the world use some form of proportional representation, and among the significant benefits of PR systems is increased diversity of parliaments, including better representation of women and other under-represented groups," said Fair Vote P.E.I. chairwoman and coalition member Brenda Oslawsky.

A final session for the initial round of public consultations on democratic renewal has been recently added to the schedule for Nov. 16 at Fox Meadow Golf & Country Club in Stratford from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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