There's been a lot of talk about Michael Chong's Reform Act. But, curiously, neither Justin Trudeau nor Tom Mulcair is doing any talking. Lawrence Martin wrote yesterday that:
For a long time, the Liberals and New Democrats have been questioned about the need to prepare grand reform and for a long time, they’ve hesitated. They say they already have some proposals in their party platforms. There are some worthwhile measures, yes, but not the type to draw attention like Mr. Chong’s. Nor is the public aware of them. They haven’t bothered to give them a big push.
Justin's silence is particularly strange:
With his freshness and youth, he is best positioned to bring forward a new democratic vision, one that will appeal to the younger generations so turned off politics.
A broad reform plan works in so many ways. It’s not an issue of the left or right, but cuts across party lines. It’s not an issue that requires big expenditures from the public purse – the Conservatives will be at the ready to decry any new opposition program proposals as tax-hike schemes. This issue will not give them that opportunity.
If there is an issue that appeals to the young who don't vote -- the segment of the population David Herle calls "The Spectators" -- it's parliamentary reform. They stand to benefit the most from the Reform Act. According to The Spec.com:
What's truly interesting — and even spooky — about them is that, for the most part, it is not apathy, not ignorance, not the generational aberrations that accompany being young, that shape their beliefs and values but a concrete rejection of established social institutions coupled with fear that the Western idealized dream of progress forever is dead and that what's coming down the road toward them, economically and socially, is not nice.Samara, in its study on the politically disengaged in Canada ("The Real Outsiders"), has found a widespread parallel feeling of powerlessness and rejection of the current institutions of Canadian democracy as effective instruments of the people's voice.
Trudeau says he is targeting young voters. Parliamentary Reform should be his issue.