Democratic reform high on Manitoba PC agenda
Published November 7th 2006 in Winnipeg Free Press Live
Manitoba Conservatives are debating whether to change the electoral process in Manitoba. Leader Hugh McFadyen said he feels strongly the provincial government should include some form of proportional representation, which would give political parties a share of seats in the legislature based on their share of the popular vote. "I want to wait and hear what party members say on it but I think there are some attractive things about proportional representation that ought to be considered," McFadyen said, after delivering his keynote remarks at the party's annual general meeting Saturday. He said he thinks a system should combine proportional representation with the current "first past the post" process, where MLAs are elected in 57 ridings based on whoever gets the most votes. The party delegates will spend much of the afternoon discussing eight different policy papers on areas including democratic reform, the environment, education, health care and infrastructure. McFadyen has previously said he wants to move to fixed election dates in Manitoba. Now he says changing how members get elected to the legislature is also important. He even suggested he might move away from having 57 MLAs, including potentially decreasing the number of MLAs sitting in the legislature. The meeting is being used as the party tries to develop a policy platform for the next provincial election, which could be called as early as this spring.