Penticton rally for proportional representation

A Penticton man is hoping to send a message to Ottawa that voters are interested in reforming our voting system with a rally tonight

Jasper Meiklejohn organized a rally in support of electoral reform

A Penticton man is hoping to send a message to Ottawa that voters are interested in reforming our voting system.

During the last election, one of the planks in the Liberal platform was that 2015 would be the last election run under a first past the post system. Lately though, it seems their resolve is wavering.

Read more: Would electoral reform get more Penticton people voting?

“I think people are upset about it, so we want to show there really is support for a fair and proportional system,” said Jasper Meiklejohn, who organized a protest in front of MP Richard Cannings’ Penticton office tonight (Dec. 13) at 5 p.m.

“There are about 50 locations across the country that are holding it,” said Meiklejohn, adding the rallies are support by Leadnow, a grassroots political advocacy organization.

“We are wanting to send a message to the federal government that we really want proportional representation,” said Meiklejohn. “We want a system that makes every vote count.”

Meiklejohn said they recognize that Cannings is a supporter of electoral reform, but still wanted to hold the gathering and show support.

“We are planning to take some pictures and send them off, show there is a lot of support for electoral reform and try to send a message to Trudeau and the Liberals that it is time to reform our voting system,” he said.

Read more: Updated: NDP MPs discuss electoral reform

Meiklejohn, who is 21 years old, suggested that younger people might not be engaged in the election process because people who are standing for elections aren’t speaking to their interests.

“They are speaking to their voter bases because they don’t have to appeal to a broader base. In a proportional system, you have to fight for every vote in every constituency,” said Meiklejohn.

The rally takes place at 5 p.m. at 301 Main St., and Meiklejohn said everyone who supports proportional representation is welcome to the non-partisan event. No speakers are planned, but there will be a chance for participants to say why they’re supporting proportional representation.