Yukon MP apologizes to voters whose hearts were set on electoral reform
Larry Bagnell says he can understand why people who really wanted reform may not vote for him
Yukon MP Larry Bagnell has apologized to to voters who are frustrated that the federal Liberals have abandoned their commitment to electoral reform.
Bagnell made the apology Friday on CBC radio's Yukon morning show, A New Day.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau promised, during the 2015 election campaign, that it would be the last first-past-the-post election if he was elected.
But Trudeau recently announced he wouldn't be pursuing reform after failing to find consensus among Canadians.
On Thursday, during a public event in Iqaluit, he said he's concerned a proportional voting system could "augment extremist voices." He suggested Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch could benefit from voting reform.
"Because if you have a party that represents the fringe voices … or the periphery of our perspectives and they hold 10, 15, 20 seats in the House, they end up holding the balance of power."
- 'It was my choice to make:' Over boos from crowd, Trudeau says electoral reform scuttled for national unity
- 'Do you think Kellie Leitch should have her own party?' Trudeau asks voter upset over electoral reform
Bagnell said he's received emails from disappointed Yukon voters who are passionate about electoral reform.
"I apologize to them, I can understand how upset they would be. This is the most important thing for them and they were expecting an imminent change," he said.
The broken promise could cost him some votes in the next election, Bagnell said.
"I think the government made the right decision, because I think it's safe to say a majority of Canadians are satisfied with the way the process is set up at the present time," Lang said.
Lang added, though, that the Liberals did a poor job of bringing the issue to the public for debate.
with files from Nancy Thomson and A New Day