The Pollcast: How electoral reform fell apart

In a matter of weeks, the Liberals went from pledging that the 2019 election would not be held under the first-past-the-post system, to abandoning electoral reform entirely. What happened? Host Éric Grenier is joined by Aaron Wherry and the Ottawa Citizen's Kady O'Malley.

Host Éric Grenier is joined by the CBC's Aaron Wherry and the Ottawa Citizen's Kady O'Malley

Shortly after taking over the file, Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould announced the Liberals' decision to abandon electoral reform. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

The CBC Pollcast, hosted by CBC poll analyst Éric Grenier, explores the world of electoral politics, political polls and the trends they reveal.

During the last campaign and in the months that followed, the Liberals pledged that the 2015 election would be the last fought under the first-past-the-post electoral system.

That promise no longer stands. So what happened?

After more than a year of speculation, debate, committee hearings, town halls and an online survey that was roundly panned by critics, the Liberals decided to abandon their promise to change the way Canadians vote.

What was behind the decision to renege on that campaign promise? Did electoral reform ever stand a chance of succeeding?

To break it down one last time, Pollcast host Éric Grenier is joined by the CBC's Aaron Wherry and the Ottawa Citizen's Kady O'Malley. 

Listen to the full discussion above — or subscribe to the CBC Pollcast and listen to past episodes.

Follow Éric Grenier, Aaron Wherry and Kady O'Malley on Twitter.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?