Mr. Speaker, there are moments when one can be especially proud to be a member of Parliament. I am especially proud today to be part of this team, with my colleagues, who managed to put the process to reform the voting system back on track. This is truly a great moment and I commend and thank the Liberals for working with us and supporting our proposal.
Electoral reform is very important. In Laurier—Sainte-Marie, people talk to me about this a lot. It is important to them. Everyone had concerns about the process. They did not want to see it exacerbate cynicism rather than rallying the public around a common goal. They were quite concerned, especially about the committee that is being set up to undertake this reform.
I want to quote two people. First, Paul Journet, from La Presse, who said:
What could be more ironic? On the one hand, the federal Liberals want to change the voting system because it distorts the will of the people. On the other hand, they are using this distortion to give themselves a majority of the seats on the new review committee. They are taking advantage of the problem to better control the outcome.
That is what we have been fighting against for months now. I am pleased to see that we are going to have a committee that will truly represent how the public voted and will be relatively proportional.
I would remind hon. members that the NDP has long wanted to change the voting system as well. The current voting system just does not work. It creates false majorities. We saw just how much such a majority could be mishandled during the 10 years that the Conservatives were in power, although their majority was based on less than 40% of the popular vote. We hope that we will not see more of the same from the Liberals.
This fuels cynicism. People need to be able to believe in the system. I really like the idea of a mixed member proportional voting system. I know some people who have said that their vote for a given small party would be meaningless, because the party has no chance of winning in their riding. We all know of these examples.
With mixed member proportional voting, all votes count. Beyond the fundamental democratic issue and the fact that the House of Commons would better represent the popular will, this could also help combat cynicism. It could also encourage minorities, such as indigenous populations, to play a more active role in the electoral process. Indeed, over the past few years, voter participation has decreased, and we want the vast majority of Canadians to take part in the process.
I am also thinking of young Canadians, because, as we know, they do not vote much. I always like to paraphrase Rick Mercer, who once asked some young people whether they would let their grandparents choose their friends, their music, and their clothes. I often ask young people this question, and of course, they always say no. Like Rick Mercer, I tell them not to let their grandparents choose their government. It is absolutely crucial that young people vote.
It is not me who is going to be most affected by an issue like climate change: it is them. What we are now doing is building their future.
I hope that we are going to adopt a system that is both fair and equitable, but also, and to me this is essential, a system that will encourage people from all walks of life to participate, whatever their opinions or orientations, and especially young people. Action is urgently needed, and I find that the process is already lagging somewhat. Putting a new voting system in place is not something that is done overnight.
I am truly happy, even delighted, that today we have at least managed to agree on a formula that gives the representatives of the Bloc Québécois and the Leader of the Green Party their say in the matter. Indeed, this formula is in large part a reflection of what we want to accomplish. I hope that everyone will be prepared to work together.
The House is currently debating two issues that are truly fundamental. I am referring to the bill on medical assistance in dying, and the reform of the voting system. In both these cases, we must succeed in establishing a dialogue and finding ground for agreement.
As I was saying, I am absolutely delighted to be part of a team that has pushed for a viable and credible solution for the population, and I thank the Liberals for joining us on this issue.