Justin Trudeau announces plan for "real change," 32-point reform campaign

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Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau launched a reform campaign today named “Real Change,” a plan that he says will “modernize government.”

As part of the 32-point plan, Trudeau announced that if elected into office, he will research and consider to make voting mandatory for all Canadians and make major changes to the electoral system.

A part of the campaign says the Liberal Party will ensure that 2015 is the last federal election that will be conducted under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system – where the candidate with the most votes wins, even if they don’t have majority. Instead the plan looks to explore ranked ballots and proportional representation. Trudeau’s campaign states that legislation for electoral reform will be made within 18 months of forming government.

“We need to move beyond the first-past-the-post system that doesn’t ensure that Canadians voices are valued and valid,” Trudeau said as he announced his campaign. “I’m committed to engaging in serious responsible study on a wide range of electoral reform measures.”

Some of his other proposed reforms include:

More accessible government data

Amending the Access to Information Act, and having more government information readily available digitally, as well as reducing the fee for access to information requests.

Making Statistics Canada independent

The plan would bring back Stats Canada’s long-form census, expanding its data collection and making it fully independent.

Disclosing travel and hospitality expenses of Parliamentarians

A plan provoked by the ongoing Senate scandal that will demand the House of Commons and the Senate to work closely with the Auditor-General to develop audits.

Reforming the Question Period

To introduce a question period solely for the Prime Minister. The plan says it will work with all parties to change the House of Commons rules to make the question period more relevant.

Creating a Youth Advisory Council for PMO

Establishing a council consisting of young Canadians ages 16 to 24 to provide non-partisan advise to the Prime Minister on national issues.

Appoint equal number of men and women

To ensure greater representation of aboriginal peoples and an equal number of men and women appointed into office.

Gender impact analysis

Analyzing public policies to capture the impact they will have on different genders.

Trudeau’s reform plan announcement comes as an attempt to grab the NDP’s position as the official opposition of the government. The election date is set for October 19, 2015.

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Behdad Mahichi is currently an Editorial Assistant at Vancity Buzz and a journalism student at Ryerson University. He writes about anything from entertainment and politics to his misfortunately extreme caffeine addiction.
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