Last Thursday Nathan Cullen, NDP critic for Democratic Institutions presented Petition E-616 in support of electoral reform to Parliament. With over 130,000 signatures, E-616 is Canada’s largest e-petition to date. In this excerpt from a press conference held after the presentation, Nathan’s intelligence, conviction and passion for democracy is striking. It is well worth the time.
Nathan Cullen will be coming to Kitchener to speak this Wednesday, March 29th, 7pm at KPL as part of the Keep Your Promise tour. It is a town hall meeting in support of what we as citizens can do as Parliament prepares to vote this spring on whether or not electoral reform becomes a reality in time for the 2019 federal election.
From an e-mail sent by Anita Nickerson, Fair Vote Canada’s Chapter Co-ordinator:
Hi everyone! Nathan Cullen’s Keep the Promise tour started on Saturday. Fair Vote Canada will be promoting all the stops.
I hope Liberal MPs do show up somewhere but even if they don’t (these are NDP events) it’s an opportunity for people to come together on this issue and get motivated to do things such as send letters, make visits to the MP and be visible in the ridings. We need to push the Liberals to vote yes in May OR encourage those who support PR to find some other way to come back to the table. Equally important in case we don’t change Liberal minds – we need to connect people in advance of 2019.
We can’t assume other groups will promote these so please do your best to share with your networks.
FVC is allowed to have tables at all the stops! Here are the list of stops so far below this email. We have TO, Kitchener and Guelph covered. If you are in one of the other places, please get in touch with me off list if you can have a table for us and tell me what, if anything, you need. (I’ll be emailing you soon otherwise 🙂
We really need to build Fair Vote Canada and this tour is one way to do it.So please have the clipboards with Declarations and invite people to sign!
The ridings Cullen is targeting will include those we especially need to grow in for 2019 to elect pro-PR MPs.
Other awesome things to have on your table: Tabloids. (I only have one box left, not sure if Kelly has more). Postcards to Trudeau (that Kelly is mailing out to those who asked for them or use a different one with the same idea). Also, check out “photos” on our facebook page for things you might like to print for a display.
Thanks so much for helping make the best of this opportunity!
On Thursday, 23 March 2017 at 10:00am Nathan Cullen presented petition E-616 to the House of Commons. E-616 is the largest e-petition to date with 130,452 signatures and will automatically trigger a debate in the House. You can watch Nathan present the petition on CPAC.
At 11:00am Thursday there was a press conference to announce Nathan Cullen’s “Keep the Promise” Tour which you can also watch on CPAC: Nathan Cullen news conference
We are looking forward to the Kitchener “Keep Your Promise” tour town hall next Wednesday night, 29 March 2017, 7:00pm to 8:30pm at Kitchener Public Library. Nathan is an inspiring, insightful and thoughtful speaker. The opportunity to have a positive and constructive public conversation about the future of electoral reform with Nathan offers some hope that we could still see a fair electoral system in time for 2019.
Hi everyone: It’s still a bit early for the Summertime Festival Season, but Fair Vote Waterloo is starting with an information table at Cross Cultures on Tuesday.
What: Cross Cultures Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination When: Tuesday, 21 March 2017 from 8:45am to 8:45pm Where: Rotunda, Kitchener City Hall Location: 200 King Street West, Kitchener, Ontario Map
The event is on all day, with a huge attendance of local schoolkids presenting and participating until 2:00pm, talks and lectures all afternoon, and a Peace Vigil and Peace Concert in the evening.
If anyone would like to help staff our information table for a few hours, either morning or afternoon, please drop by.
There’s a schedule of events on the KWPeace Calendar Pick any time, there’s always something interesting happening.
157 “Keep Your Promise” postcards to Justin Trudeau
15 postcards for Kitchener Centre MP Raj Saini
86 signatures on the Declaration of Voters Rights
94 signatures on the Petition to the Government of Canada
If you missed us at the Kitchener Market you can catch us throughout the spring and summer at Cross Cultures, the Day In The Park for Peace and Nonviolence, the Multicultural Festival, Open Streets, and many other events.
A meet and greet at St John’s Evangelical Church in Kitchener involving two Cabinet ministers and 3 MPs was picketed by Proportional Representation enthusiasts angry about the broken Liberal electoral reform promise.
We made the local CTV evening broadcast. Since my sign only appears for a second, I show both sides of it below. The second side needs explanation. “Harperism” is the type of governance promoted by Harper in his last and only majority government in which he consistently attacked our democracy. Proportional Representation leads to coalition government in which nobody has a majority and governing is done by cooperation and compromise. Three CPC Harper-clone-Trumpist leadership candidates, Leitch, Alexander and O’Leary remind us of the possibility of another Harper-like majority so long as we keep our present First-Past-The-Post election system.
Here is the letter I wrote to my MP the Honourable Bardish Chagger with respect to electoral reform…
19 February 2017
Dear Minister Chagger:
I am writing to offer your government an alternate approach to electoral reform given the recent change in position by the Prime Minister.
I understand and accept how various difficulties made the implementation of your party’s promise on electoral reform very hard to accomplish by 2019. However, the Prime Minister and your party made a clear promise. Not only am I dismayed by the reversal, I am very concerned about the added cynicism toward the public process that your government’s change in position invites.
I believe electoral reform must not be disposed of this easily. I offer the following suggestions to you and your colleagues for consideration.
First, I propose the establishment of a Canadian citizens’ assembly on electoral reform similar to the process conducted in British Columbia and Ontario. Such a non-partisan body made up of randomly-selected Canadians would be asked to:
1) Consider other options for electoral reform based on expert opinion;
2) Conduct public hearings to determine Canadians’ viewpoints;
3) Vote whether to keep the current method of electing MPs or choose another; and
4) If they vote to choose another system, propose an alternative as well as a method of implementing it to be recommended to Parliament.
Naming such an assembly would provide Canadians a unique opportunity for public participation. It would also provide distance from elected officials considering how they are elected, a question in which they almost certainly have a vested interest.
If a citizens’ assembly were to propose an alternative to our current electoral system, I would suggest it be automatically implemented for two elections so Canadians could experience how such a system would work. During the second election, Canadians could then be offered a referendum on whether to maintain the new system or return to first past the post. Such an approach would give Canadians a fair opportunity to see a new electoral system in action and make an informed choice.
In closing, your government made a clear commitment to electoral reform. If consensus about the type of system did not emerge (an aspect that was not part of your promise), then your government must do more to build a consensus. A citizens’ assembly would provide a way to do that.
I look forward to your response on my suggestions.
CC: The Honourable Karina Gould
Scott Reid, MP
Nathan Cullen, MP
Fair Vote Canada
Just to note that Minister Chagger called me yesterday at home, and we had a very pleasant chat about the electoral reform file. I appreciated her outreach I’ll wait to hear more.
The Hon. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage will be joining Waterloo Region Liberal MPs for a meet & greet at St. John the Evangelist Church, 23 Water Street in Kitchener.
With five Liberal MPs, including two cabinet ministers in one place at one time, we thought we should take this opportunity to remind Liberal politicians that reneging on the promise to end First Past The Post and make every vote count will have consequences.
The meet and greet starts at 6:00 pm, so we will gather at St. John the Evangelist Church (basement entrance on Duke Street) at 5:45 pm. If all the MPs arrive on time, we will rally until 6:15 pm. Bring horns, tooters, drums, signs or funny hats, whatever you like to make a point; we are here, we are disappointed and we aren’t going to forget that you broke your promise to make every vote count.
What: Reminding Liberals Rally When: Thursday, 2 March 2017 from 5:45pm to 6:15pm Where: St. John the Evangelist Church, Duke Street entrance Location: 23 Water St N, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada Map
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