POLITICS

Highlights of Liberal party's proposed changes to federal electoral system

06/16/2015 03:06 EDT | Updated 06/16/2016 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - Here are some highlights from the Liberal party's 32-point proposal to "restore democracy," unveiled Tuesday by leader Justin Trudeau:

— Create a special, all-party parliamentary committee to study alternatives to the current first-past-the-post electoral system, including ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting and online voting. Within 18 months of taking power, introduce legislation to replace first-past-the-post, based on the committee's recommendations.

— Reform question period in the House of Commons so that one day each week would be devoted solely to grilling the prime minister.

— Impose spending limits on political parties between elections, not just during election campaigns.

— Appoint an equal number of men and women to cabinet and adopt a government-wide appointment policy to ensure gender parity and greater representation of aboriginal people and other minorities.

— Create performance standards for services offered by the federal government, complete with streamlined application processes, reduced wait times and money-back guarantees.

— Create individualized, secure online accounts for Canadians who want to access all their government benefits and review key documents.

— Empower backbench MPs by allowing free votes on everything except legislation implementing election platform promises, budget measures and matters involving freedoms guaranteed in the charter of rights.

— End partisanship in the Senate by creating an independent advisory body to recommend non-partisan nominees for appointment to the upper house.

— Overhaul the Canada Revenue Agency's operating practices, including proactively contacting Canadians who are not receiving tax benefits they're entitled to and ending the "political harassment"of charities.

— Stop Canada Post's plan to end home mail delivery.

— Strengthen access-to-information laws, including giving the information commissioner power to issue binding disclosure orders and expanding the law to apply to the Prime Minister's Office and ministerial offices.

— Create an all-party national security oversight committee to oversee the operation of security agencies.

— End the practice of stuffing unrelated legislation into omnibus bills.

— Repeal stiffer voter identification requirements and other elements of the Fair Elections Act.

— Appoint an advertising commissioner to ensure government ads are non-partisan and related to actual government business.

— Create an independent commission to organize leaders' debates during election campaigns.