Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggests that one of the reasons he abandoned a key 2015 campaign pledge on electoral reform was out of concern over parties representing fringe voices gaining too much sway in Parliament, naming Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch as one of them.

"Do you think that Kellie Leitch should have her own party?" Trudeau said Thursday as he mingled with a crowd in Iqaluit.

The remarks were picked up on a boom microphone by pooled television networks as Trudeau conversed with a woman who had engaged him in a discussion about electoral reform and explained why he did not think proportional representation should replace the current first-past-the-post voting system.

Leitch, an Ontario MP who is seeking to replace former prime minister Stephen Harper as the leader of the Conservative party, has made a controversial proposal to screen potential immigrants and refugees for "anti-Canadian values," an idea that has been compared to those championed by President Donald Trump.

The woman suggested Leitch was part of a different conversation, but Trudeau insisted it was not.

"Because if you have a party that represents the fringe voices ... or the periphery of our perspectives and they hold 10, 15, 20 seats in the House, they end up holding the balance of power."

Trudeau had promised — during the 2015 election campaign, in the speech from the throne and repeatedly since then — that he would change the way Canadians cast ballots in federal elections in time for 2019, but abandoned that pledge last week.

The conversation picked up by the microphone in Iqaluit began with the Trudeau saying that proportional representation — a different electoral system — was the wrong way to go.

"Proportional representation in any form would be bad for Canada," he said.

The woman said she respectfully disagreed and that is when he brought up Leitch.

Trudeau said it is important to listen to all voices, rather than amplifying small ones.

"The strength of our democracy is that we have to pull people into big parties that have all the diversity of Canada and we learn to get along," he said.

Trudeau suggested improvements could have been made to the country's current electoral system, but proportional representation wasn't the solution.

He also said the federal New Democrats were unwilling to budge on proportional representation.

"The fact that the NDP was absolutely locked into proportional representation, no matter what, at any cost, meant there was no give and take possible on that," he said.

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Comments

Trudeau needs to give his head a shake. He has truly screwed us with this. Is he suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome?

By killing electoral reform, he has opened the door to a Kellie Leitch or Kevin O'Leary government MAJORITY government with only 35% of the vote. His fear of a wingnut holding the balance of power is nonsensical, when the current system allows a wingnut to hold absolute power.

Second, he should be the biggest champion of the Charter of RIghts & Freedoms - his own father's legacy. If Kellie Leitch wants her own party then more power to her. The reinvigoration of Canadian democracy through electoral reform should more than overwhelm race baiting bullshit.

The best way to counter Leitch (and Harperism) is to increase voter turnout. To do that you have to build a bigger tent with more diversity, more debate, more freedom - not less.

Trudeau is wrong when he says the big party system is our strength. Canada's strength is our Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Trudeau should know better.

This pathetic performance has left the door wide open for Conservatives in 2019, when he could have nailed it shut. What a clown.

Trudeau portrays himself as the champion and only hope to fix So Many problems with this country, only to be exposed as a self-serving, hypocritical, liar who having won the election, will only make changes that benefit himself and his people - the elite corporate puppet masters. His comments about "refusing to allow" the "risk to national unity" because of "fringe groups" echo the start of many a dictator. His "friendships" with dictators and open admiration for the most appalling regimes are the antithesis of Canadian democracy. Electoral reform is one of the biggest reasons he won with a majority (despite a measly 39% of votes) yet he believes he is entitled to abandon this because he doesn't like a candidate for the leadership of a rival party. This is how incredibly screwed up the entire system is. By continuing to reinforce to voters that they cannot be trusted at all, Trudeau and his government are driving people to fringe groups. Voters should be engaged and discussing what matters to them, not called names to silence questions.

UK governments ignored voters, rammed hated agendas down people's throats, along with the impacts of their globalization agenda on the economy, jobs, housing, health care, taxes, income, pollution, the environment, crime, as well as the the corruption and increasing power grab by the EU led to BREXIT. Spinning all of that into a "racism" myth to perpetuate Trudeau's' own agenda not only shows he is completely out of touch, but encourages the rise of those who claim they will be different.

If we don't force voting reform now, it could be decades or longer before we get another chance. I can't take more of the current "democracy" and at the current rate of destruction, neither can what is left of our wilderness or environment.

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