I already wrote in details why I was of the opinion that an electoral reform had to be adopted using a referendum. I believe the Liberals are currently using nonsense arguments to justify their position.
Since then, the Liberals have stacked the "all-parties committee" with 6 of their members, out of 10 (because hey, there is no irony in using the distortions of the system you are criticizing in order to get rid of this system). 3 Conservatives and 1 NDP complete it, along with 1 Green and 1 Bloc who don't have a vote. Beyond the absurdity to pretty much exclude the parties that have wanted electoral reform for a long time (NDP and Green), this just reinforces my suspicion that this committee will be completely useless. The government will spend months listening to people and ultimately go with the plan the Liberals like (and that most likely benefits them): the alternative vote. A system that might not even be an improvement over the current First Past The Post depending on how you look at it.
Also, Maryam Monsef, the Minister in charge of the reform, might just have used the absolute worst argument against a referendum: it's not inclusive! She said that half the people who would have been impacted by the BC and Ontario reforms didn't vote! This is so absurd. So what? If some people or groups don't even want to vote during a referendum, why would they vote in the next election when the chosen system would be in place? At some point we just need to accept the fact that some people voluntarily exclude themselves from the process.
The new poll from Ipsos shows that Canadians are not fooled. It's not surprising and it isn't the first time we've seen it (although, to be fair, a recent Ekos poll showed Canadian mostly divided on this question). It doesn't take a ph.d in political science to understand that it doesn't make sense for a party who won 39% of the vote to completely change something as fundamental as the electoral system. If they could find a consensus with (at least) the NDP and Green on which system to adopt, then maybe we could consider a referendum not necessary. But I highly doubt we'll see that. And stacking the committee with 6 Liberals sure doesn't send the right signal.
The Liberals are turning this whole process into a giant mess before it even started. If I were wearing my tinfoil hat, I'd say they are doing it on purpose because many Liberals have realized that the current system isn't that bad - hey, we just go a huge majority thanks to it!- and don't want electoral reform. Derailing the process is the ideal way to make it go away.
Look, one of the main arguments of the Liberals is that over 60% of the voters last election supported a party who wanted electoral reform (LPC, NDP and Green). Then why is holding a referendum on this question seen as so complicated? Do your committee, listen to everybody and their brothers and then do a referendum! And campaign during this referendum (along with the other parties supporting it) and you should win easily! That would give the new system a much greater legitimacy.
I said it before and I'll say it again: one of the worst moments in my life following politics was in 2009 when BC rejected the STV. So I know first hand that referendums can be cruel (hey, I "lost" all three referendums/plebiscites in BC since I live here!) but they are still the most democratic tool to implement major reforms. This poll shows that Canadians are very divided on whether the electoral system should be changed or not (it's pretty much 50-50) but it doesn't mean a referendum is doomed to fail.