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NDP’s Mulcair to talk about electoral reform in Sunday, Monday visit

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is set to visit Vancouver Island for two days, making an announcement on electoral reform during his stop in Victoria.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is set to visit Vancouver Island for two days, making an announcement on electoral reform during his stop in Victoria.

Mulcair will make his way down the Island, starting with a town hall in Campbell River on Sunday and ending in Victoria on Monday afternoon.

In Victoria, Mulcair will attend two meetings related to a national childcare plan, part of the NDP’s election platform.

Later Monday, the federal Opposition leader will make an announcement on electoral reform with Victoria NDP MP Murray Rankin and Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca NDP MP Randall Garrison at the Inn at Laurel Point.

NDP reform critic Craig Scott brought his cross-Canada electoral reform Make Every Vote Count town hall to Victoria in late November.

Scott said that if the NDP were to win a majority in a federal election, a priority would be to try to change the system so no party could achieve a winner-takes-all result again.

The NDP is promising to strike an all-party task force with a mandate to consult with experts and others on the best design for the mixed-member proportional representation system the party is advocating.

That system would allow voters to cast a ballot for a local MP and another vote for a party, from a list of candidates who could be ranked in preference.

An NDP government would then introduce legislation based on the task force’s recommendations. “We’re not saying it won't be challenging,” Scott said in an interview.

Mulcair will be in Victoria to build off the work that local NDP MPs and Scott have been doing to promote proportional representation.

Mulcair is expected to focus partly on an “Opposition Day” motion tabled by the NDP on Dec. 2.

It reads: “That, in the opinion of the House: (a) the next federal election should be the last conducted under the current first-past-the-post electoral system which has repeatedly delivered a majority of seats to parties supported by a minority of voters, or under any other winner-take-all electoral system; and (b) a form of mixed-member proportional representation would be the best electoral system for Canada.”

The motion was rejected in the House of Commons.

In Victoria, Mulcair is expected to speak specifically to the party’s commitment to a mixed-member proportional system.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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TOUR SCHEDULE

SUNDAY

• Campbell River, 2:30 p.m. — Town hall at the Homalco’s First Nation Hall, 1218 Bute Cres.

• Courtenay, 6 p.m. — Town hall in the ballroom of the Best Western Westerly Hotel, 1590 Cliffe Ave.

MONDAY

• Courtenay, 9:15 a.m. — Media address at Best Western Westerly, 1590 Cliffe Ave.

• Nanaimo, 12:45 p.m. — Appearance at the Little Ferns Early Learning Centre, in John Barsby Secondary School, 550 7th St.

• Victoria, 4 p.m. — Announcement at the Inn at Laurel Point, Roger’s Suite, 680 Montreal St.