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Aylward wants third option in P.E.I. referendum question

Opposition leader James Aylward is shown in the P.E.I. legislature on Wednesday. (Mitch MacDonald/The Guardian)
FILE PHOTO: Opposition leader James Aylward in the P.E.I. legislature. THE GUARDIAN - Mitch MacDonald

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – When Islanders vote on electoral reform in a referendum, they could have a third option, if Opposition Leader James Aylward has his way.

Aylward started debate of a motion Thursday to have consensus government added in the electoral reform referendum that will be attached to the next election.

As he has been talking to Islanders in recent weeks, they have been voicing their cynicism about politics, political parties and partisanship, Aylward said.

“I feel very strongly that potentially it could be a system that would serve Prince Edward Island very well,” he said.

A consensus government is one that doesn’t have any political parties and in which all MLAs are elected as independents.

In Canada, this form of government is used in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

As it stands, when Islanders vote in the referendum they will have a choice of either mixed member proportional representation or a second option the government has yet to announce.

Aylward said if the province is going to go down the road of changing its electoral system all of the options need to be considered.

“I want to have a fulsome debate in the legislative assembly.”

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