A brief history of Electoral Reform on PEI

Following the 2003 election, which resulted in the third extremely-lopsided legislature in a row, a citizens' movement started to form to push for Proportional Representation on PEI.

Since then, there as been:

(From 2015 to today, you can also read this opinion piece by Boyd Allen, printed in the Eastern Graphic.)

  • The 2015 "White Paper on Democratic Renewal" by Wade MacLauchlan

  • The 2015-16 Special Committee on Democratic Renewal

  • The 2016 Plebiscite campaign (see below)

  • November 2016 - The Liberal government's rejection of the results of the 2016 plebiscite (see below), and debate in the legislature about next steps. Promises of a 'binding' referendum to settle the matter.

  • 2017 - Delay in the legislature, promises of a Referendum but no concrete legislation.

  • Spring 2018 - With no warning or advance consultation, the Electoral Systems Referendum Act was tabled in the legislature. The original draft was widely regarded as anti-democratic, highly biased, and likely unconstitutional, the Act was debated for 9 days of the sitting.

    • The Act was eventually amended 27 times to address some of the concern raised - but certainly not all - and was pushed through into law by the governing Liberal Party.

  • Spring 2018 - the disbanding of the PEI Coalition for Proportional Representation, after an adversarial attitude from some MLAs towards the community-based Coalition, made the continuation of the Coalition unworkable.

  • Fall-Winter 2018 - Referendum Commissioner appointed

  • 1 Feb 2019 - Referendum Period begins.

  • Rumours abound of a Spring 2019 election


What happened in 2016?

On November 7, 2016, more than 37,000 Island voters participated in a historic plebiscite on electoral reform.

The result was a resounding vote for change: 69% of voters rejected the status quo (First-Past-the-Post) with their first choice votes. After sorting the ranked ballots, Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) emerged as the winner - the preferred system of 52.4% of voters, a clear 10-point margin ahead of First Past the Post, which had the support of only 42.8% of voters.

See the graphics and links below for a full breakdown of the results.







More details will be added here as the Referendum gets closer.

Last updated Feb 1.

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