Whitehorse:  The Yukon Liberal Caucus remains committed to striking a non-political Commission on Electoral Reform, Darius Elias, Interim Leader, confirmed today.

“Citizens must feel engaged in the democratic process, that their voices are heard, and that their votes count,” said Elias.  “When we consider making changes to our electoral system, it is even more important that that process is apolitical: elected representatives should not be setting new rules about how they get and keep their jobs.”

The Liberals’ longstanding commitment to electoral reform is premised on the belief that citizen Yukoners should guide the reform process.  This would be best accomplished by a Commission on Electoral Reform, comprising non-political Yukoners, which would seek out Yukoners’ views and suggestions on electoral reform.

The Liberals committed to striking such a commission in both their 2006 and 2011 election platforms.

“It would be putting the cart ahead of the horse to tell Yukoners what sort of reform they should choose, instead of seeking their views first,” said Elias.

The Liberal Caucus was unable to support the NDP Caucus’ motion yesterday that called for MLAs to consult with Yukoners about electoral reform and included presumptive solutions that the consultation process should produce.

“While I commend the NDP Official Opposition for also recognizing the importance of electoral reform, it is unfortunate that the motion they presented yesterday included a preconceived course of action on the issue,” added Elias.  “We also believe that any group formed to look at electoral reform should be an independent and representative group of Yukoners, not elected MLAs with a personal interest in the process.  There is no room for error when it comes to democratic reform, electoral reform, or boundary reform.  This is the type of democratic power that belongs in the hands of the people.” 

For additional information contact: 

Shay Kokiw 667-8942