The Green Party of Prince Edward Island is expressing its disappointment at the Premier’s statement issued yesterday in response to the plebiscite results.
“This Premier came into office promising to do things differently, to “call on our better natures” and to restore Islanders’ faith in democracy and politicians. Disrespecting the clear result of a comprehensive plebiscite is not a reflection of our better natures, nor is it a step towards restoring trust in government,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Island Green Party.
The Green Party’s disappointment is for the 37,000 Islanders who participated in a process that was promised to be democratic and fair, and now find themselves wondering why they even bothered showing up to vote. The Greens are particularly concerned about the impact this may have on first-time voters, especially the 16- and 17-year-olds, who must feel dismayed that the result of their first experience of voting was dismissed so casually.
“We went from Islanders resoundingly choosing a proportional electoral system in which every vote would count, to a situation where not a single vote cast counted for anything”, said Lynne Lund, deputy leader. “The Premier may feel that he can dismiss the expressed wish of Islanders for a better democracy, but he can’t stop the wave of desire for change which is sweeping over PEI.”
This morning, Bevan-Baker called for a free vote in the Legislative Assembly on honouring the results of the plebiscite. “I plan on being a champion for democracy when this debate happens in the House, and I expect that many other MLAs of all political stripes will join me in defending and honouring our democratic principles,” said Bevan-Baker.