Coin toss on agenda for electoral reform discussion

Mary-Ellen McInnis will be one of the speakers at a discussion on electoral reform being held next week.

Young Voters of PEI organizing event

Mary-Ellen McInnis will be a speaker at a discussion on electoral reform on June 10. (Contributed)
Mary-Ellen McInnis will be one of the speakers at a discussion on electoral reform being held next week.

The Vernon River-Stratford Progressive Conservative candidate recently lost a coin toss for a seat in the provincial legislature.

The coin toss came after a recount showed McInnis and Liberal incumbant Alan McIsaac were tied at the end of the provincial election on May 4. Under provincial legislation, ties are settled by a coin toss.

The discussion, called, "Heads or Tails: Is it time for electoral reform in P.E.I.?" is being organized by Young Voters of PEI and the University of Prince Edward Island Student Union.

"With a voter turnout of more than 86 per cent, P.E.I. sets the gold standard when it comes to democratic engagement and yet many were shocked last month to see a tie in the election in one district settled by a coin toss," said Matt Campbell.

The co-organizer said he was encouraged by Premier Wade MacLauchlan's commitment in the throne speech to have government table a white paper on democratic renewal.

"So I'm really excited to see what comes of that. And we really do want to see some action on it so we wanted to bring some people together some really interesting and knowledgeable people with varying perspectives and ensure some action does happen," said Campbell.

He said they will also be discussing the problems of the first past the post system.

Other speakers at the event include political science professor Don Desserud, Green Party leader and recently elected MLA Peter Bevan-Baker and federal Liberal candidate for Egmont, Robert Morrissey.

The event is being held at The Guild on Wednesday, June 10 at 7 p.m. 

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