Well that was then.
Today some sixteen months later, having attended exactly zero electoral reform committee road meetings or community-based townhalls these past few weeks, our legacy media is jointly suggesting Trudeau throw in the towel.
Susan Delacourt : Time for Trudeau to cut his losses on electoral reform
"Mayrand just gave the Liberals a face-saving excuse. They should take it."
Ms Delacourt manages to interpret Elections Canada CEO Marc Mayrand's caution that :
any new electoral system should enjoy broad support beyond a simple majority of MPs (Liberal MPs, in this case) in the House of Commons.
“I believe that changes to the Elections Act should reflect a broad consensus, that’s for sure. And I believe that a single party, whatever the majority of that party is, should not be entitled to change the act unilaterally,” Mayrand said.into an 'out' for Trudeau, as if somehow the NDP, Bloc, and Elizabeth May, not to mention the wildly cheering Canadian public who voted for reform above, do not count.
Having hung this on something Mayrand didn't say, she goes on to speculate about "what Mayrand didn’t say (but could have)" and it goes downhill from there, although I give her points for not mentioning a referendum until several paras in - perhaps because Mayrand says it's unnecessary.
The Star editorial board first plumps for a national referendum but settles for kicking reform down the road aways:
"Trudeau’s best move would be put election reform to a national vote and let Canadians chose the system they want, even if it means breaking a promise to do away with first-past-the-post during his first term in office."
Ditto the Ottawa Citizen : It's more important to do electoral reform right than to do it quickly
"First, the Liberals need to break the promise that 2015 will be the last first-past-the-post election. Second, they must replace that promise with a new one to pass enabling legislation for a voting system change prior to the 2019 election, but give up on the idea of implementation by that date."
So did you all get the same phone call from Butts?
Who have I missed here? The Sun papers are sticking with their slogan No Referendum, No Reform. Oh, and the Globe and Mail - nothing from them. I guess their entire interest in electoral reform was exhausted in their Minister Monsef birther scoop.
Not really much use to us alive, are you, legacy media?
The truth is though there is a problem with the ERRE committee.
Electoral reform advocates and activists remain resolutely positive and, in the spirit of the multi-party nature of the committee, open to whatever form of proportional representation is leading despite individual preferences for one system or another.
But underneath that there is concern.
Despite a mandate to come to a consensus about implementing a new electoral system, at least three of the four Liberals on the committee appear unconvinced electoral reform is even necessary and one is still making up his mind about a referendum. They've had 36 meetings and over a hundred witnesses, yet still take turns repeating bs rightwing Keep It Simple talking points about ballots the size of bedsheets and how complicated it would be for voters to rank several candidates/parties on a ballot instead of just one.
Committee Liberals also complain that the members of the public who show up to public ERRE meetings are biased in favour of electoral reform. As if people unconcerned about being represented in government are going to make a special trip in to say 'I don't care about this'.
Last word goes to Conservative MP and ERRE member Gérard Deltell, speaking on electoral reform at the Quebec National Assembly on Sept. 27, 2011:
"We have almost 30 months before the next election. We have time to do what all the parties have always urged, that is, a proportional system.'.