Declaration of Voter's Rights

Friday, February 20, 2009

Saskatchewan Chapter VP Runs For National Council


Nine excellent, highly-qualified candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for the five open positions on the Fair Vote Canada National Council including Gord Hunter, Fair Vote Canada's Saskatchewan Chapter Vice-President.

The election is scheduled to begin on March 1. This is the first year online voting will be offered to those members with internet access. Qualified members without web access will be given the opportunity to request a paper ballot.

The candidate statements will be posted on the web site prior to the beginning of the election, and mailed to those requesting paper ballots.

Toronto Meeting Draws 200

Nearly 200 electoral reform supporters will pack the University of Toronto Law Faculty, Flavelle House, 78 Queen’s Park Cres. West, from 9am-5pm, Saturday for the “Moving Forward on Voting Reform” forum, sponsored by Fair Vote Ontario.

“We’re absolutely delighted with the post-election surge of support for federal electoral reform,” said Linda Sheppard, president, Fair Vote Ontario. “We’re also excited that much of the new interest is coming from young people, perhaps energized in part by the Obama victory in the US.”

Sheppard also pointed to the timely nature of the forum, coming just 12 weeks before the British Columbia electoral reform referendum. In the 2005 BC referendum, nearly 58% voted for the proportional BC-STV system proposed by the BC Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform. Electoral reformers are hoping to surpass the 60% threshold set by the current BC Liberal government and supported by the opposition BC NDP.

The featured speakers at the Saturday forum in Toronto are:

• Marie Bountrogianni, former Ontario Minister for Democratic Renewal
• Andrew Coyne, National Editor, Maclean’s
• Jim Harris, former leader, Green Party of Canada
• Patrick Boyer, former MP, Progressive Conservative
• Bruce Cox, Executive Director, Greenpeace Canada
• Larry Gordon, Executive Director, Fair Vote Canada
• Dr. Jonathan Rose, former Education Director, Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform
• Stuart Parker, former leader, BC Green Party
• Dr. Henry Milner, author, Making Every Vote Count

Fair Vote Ontario is the provincial arm of Fair Vote Canada (FVC), a national multi-partisan citizens’ campaign to promote voting system reform. FVC was founded in 2001 and has a National Advisory Board of distinguished Canadians from all points on the political spectrum.

New Fair Vote Canada Chapter in Ontario

February 19th, 2009

PETERBOROUGH – Peterborough and the Kawarthas is the newest region to call for a change to the way we vote. Local citizens have come together to form an official chapter of Fair Vote Canada (FVC), a multi-partisan campaign that believes electoral reform is fundamental for healthy representative democracy and government accountability. The local chapter will be spreading information about electoral reform and signing up members to show support.

"Our antiquated first-past-the-post system was scrapped by most other major democracies long ago," says newly appointed chair, Emily Berrigan. "We clearly do not have a system that represents Canadians."

In the last federal election, the NDP attracted 1.1 million more votes than the Bloc, yet the Bloc took 12 more seats. A quarter million Conservative votes in Toronto gained no representation, and almost a million Green votes garnered no seats.

"We are looking forward to working with people from all walks of life on this most important issue," says Berrigan. "Fair Vote Canada calls on all citizens who want a reinvigorated democracy to add their voice to the growing chorus."

FVC has more than 20 chapters, and members from all political parties. It includes a National Advisory Board of distinguished Canadians from all points on the political spectrum, including Tom Kent, Walter Robinson, Hugh Segal, Judy Rebick, David Suzuki and the late June Callwood.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Message from the Chapter President

Dear friends;

Canada's electoral system is dysfunctional. It consistently fails to represent the majority sentiment of Canadians and our voting intention on a broad range of issues and political representatives. Without repeating it all here, vivid examples of distorted election results are documented on the Fair Vote Canada website at www.fairvote.ca. The current system negatively affects all voters, all political parties, and all regions.
Within the global community, we are among the dinosaurs, resisting democratic reform. More than 80 countries have used proportional voting systems successfully for most of the last century, more than any other type of voting system. Among all the newly established democracies in Eastern Europe in the 1990s, not a single one chose the North American ‘first past the post’ model.
In the last federal election fewer than 60% of eligible voters participated. This compares to 80% to 90% normal participation throughout Europe. Many abstainers here feel their votes are just 'wasted' in a system where only the dominant party in a riding or region is represented.
Under the current, winner-take-all system, most of us vote for candidates who do not get elected, so most of our votes have no effect on the outcome of the election. As a result, election outcomes are routinely horribly distorted. In Saskatchewan in the 2008 federal election, the Conservatives, with just over 50% of the votes, were awarded 93% of the seats. Results are just as distorted in other regions. Sometimes the party with the most votes loses the election!
To create change in the Canadian system will require knowledge of the alternatives and pressure from the bottom up. That's the goal of Fair Vote Canada—to support public education and consultation on electoral reform.
We need your help. Please take out a membership and support our activities and events as we broaden our base across the country.
Join and participate now! You can join online at www.FairVote.Ca. A first-year membership is only $10. Be sure to mention you are joining the Saskatchewan chapter!
We look forward to working with you and pressing this issue forward in the days and months ahead. As we plan meetings or events in Saskatoon, Regina and other centres we will provide advance notice to all members.

Don Mitchell


Fair Vote Canada Saskatchewan Chapter

For further information visit our blog at http://fairvotesask.blogspot.com; You can contact us with inquiries at fairvotesask@gmail.com or me personally at donmitchell@sasktel.net;

Our mailing address for donations to the Saskatchewan chapter is: 954 Ominica St. West, Moose Jaw S6H 1V7

Friday, February 6, 2009

Come to the Great Tar Sands Debate and Meet us. Look for our Table at the Debates

Noted science author and environmentalist Andrew Nikiforuk and Dr. Carolyn Preston, Executive Director of the Petroleum Technology Research Centre in Regina will debate the issue of Tar Sands development in Saskatchewan. Billed as the Great Tar Sands Debate the discussion will travel to different communities across Saskatchewan.

Please stop at the Fair Vote Canada, Saskatchewan Chapter table. We will be there half an hour before the debate starts Have a chat and pick up some information: we'd be delighted to meet you.

Note: Times posted are for when our table will be open. Half an hour before the debate starts

Muenster
St. Peter's Abby, Room 101 in Michael's Hall, Sunday March 15, 1:00 pm

Saskatoon
Broadway Theatre, Sunday March 15, 6:30 pm
University of Saskatchewan, Room 241 Arts, Monday, March 16, 3:00 pm
McNally Robinson Bookstore, at 8th and Circle Drive, Monday March 16, 7:00 pm

Prince Albert
Cuelenaere Public Library, 125 12 Street, Tuesday, March 17, 6:30

North Battleford
Chapel Gallery, 891 99 Street, Wednesday , March 18, 7:00 pm

Regina
University of Regina, Education Auditorium, Thursday, March 19, 6:30

Moose Jaw
Public Library, 461 Langdon Crescent, South Meeting Room, Friday March 20, 11:30 am

Swift Current
Location TBA, Friday, March 20, 6:30 pm

Fair Vote Canada's newest Chapter

There have been a number of loyal Fair Vote Canada members in Saskatchewan for some time now but, until very recently there was no active chapter in Saskatchewan. That changed early this year and now the group has a great new life. A group of members met in Manitou Beach, Sunday January 18 and got the ball rolling. January 25 our reinvigorated Chapter was approved by the national organization.

In the next few months we will be working on materials specific to the Saskatchewan experience and launching a membership drive. This blog is a first step. We encourage you to get involved in our efforts to make this chapter the most active in the country.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fair Vote Story in LP

Interest in finding an alternative, fairer electoral system is growing in Canada. In December the Regina Leader Post interviewed the Fair Vote Canada leadership to find out more about what our group is doing Read the story here