This afternoon has been an excellent session for me just to reflect on where we're at with the committee. We've had some wonderful testimony again. I really appreciated the questions that were put to us at the beginning about some of the critical things and questions we need to look at. I've been reflecting on that as I've been waiting for my turn at the microphone.
To the questions about why reform, why reform now, and whether we have a crisis in process or outcomes, I've been reflecting that this isn't the first time we've talked about a need for reform in Canada. It was news to me, as I got into this committee, that it's actually been talked about for about 100 years at various times. To me that's fascinating. It points out that there are things.... Maybe we're not at the crisis mode that we saw in New Zealand, where there were really skewed results and people were unhappy, but I've been reflecting on it. I've been out door-knocking, and during the campaign I was out, and a great number of people said to me that they weren't voting just because they've lost faith in the process, that their vote doesn't count.
There are all of these issues. We're seeing declining voter numbers and lack of representation by certain groups and all sorts of things. Is that the kind of crisis point that we need to be at, or is that not good enough to be the catalyst for it? Our government has heard that there are pressures facing us that should take us down this path. Then there are questions again about the options and improving superior systems. We've tweaked and seen changes made to the electoral system in first past the post.
To all three of you, are we stuck with first past the post? Have we not reached a critical point in Canada, or is this the only system that will ever meet the needs of Canadians? I've been reflecting as well that we've seen referenda across provinces to look at electoral change, and they've all failed. Why do we fail? Why have we never moved past what we have? Is first past the post the only solution for Canada?
Professor Norris, perhaps I can start with you. Then I'll come back to our witnesses here.