Discussion Night on Referenda with @YesCambridge on Wed, 26 Sept 2018

Yes! Cambridge | Campaign for Ranked Ballots This coming Wednesday we’re holding our Discussion Night at the Blackwing Coffee Bar in Cambridge, one of several places in Canada that’s holding a referendum on Electoral Reform. We’ll meet up with the team from the Yes! Cambridge campaign. Who knows, there may be some people that you recognize!

We’ll discuss what the members of Fair Vote Waterloo can do to help the referendum campaigns in Cambridge, Kingston, and British Columbia happening now, and in PEI with their provincial election in October 2019.

What: FairvoteWRC Discussion Night: Referenda
When: Wednesday, 26 September 2018 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Blackwing Coffee Bar
Location: 135 George Street North, Cambridge, Ontario Map 1


Next month we’re back in Kitchener at Bread & Roses for an explanation of a Proportional Representation system that uses the existing First-Past-The-Post voting system, keeps the existing electoral boundaries, and doesn’t require any more (or fewer) Members of Parliament.

Larry Kryski will suggest an interesting enhancement that adjusts the relative power of an MP based on the number of votes received by that party. His paper on the proposal, Creating a Proportional Representation Electoral System That Works was submitted to the ERRE consultation.

What: FairvoteWRC Discussion Night: Weighted First-Past-The-Post
When: Wednesday, 31 October 2018 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Community Room, Bread and Roses Co-op
Location: 307 Queen Street South, Kitchener Map 2


Bob Jonkman,
Co-Chair, Fair Vote Waterloo
Phone: +1-519-635-9413
E-mail: bjonkman@sobac.com

FairvoteWRC Contact Info:
Phone: +1–519–279–2990
E-mail: info@fairvotewrc.ca

Discussion Nights in August and September

Discussion Night Hi everyone! For our upcoming Discussion Night on Wednesday, 29 August 2018 we’ll be discussing the results of the provincial election in June.

I invite anyone who has done some analysis of the election to make a short presentation. For example, if you’ve calculated how the seats would have been distributed with an STV voting system, or which electoral districts hold the most voting power, or how few votes it might have taken to swing only a few ridings to change the outcome…

The format will be a 10 minute presentation of your analysis, followed by a 10 minute Q&A. We’ve got a couple of people already lined up, and I suspect we’ll have no trouble filling the two hours of Discussion Night with, um, discussion.

What: FairvoteWRC Discussion Night: Election Analysis
When: Wednesday, 29 August 2018 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Community Room, Bread and Roses Co-op
Location: 307 Queen Street South, Kitchener Map 1

PARKING:

If you’re driving to Discussion Night at Bread And Roses, place a note on the dashboard of your vehicle:

Meeting in Community Room re: Apt 107 from 7-9pm

and park in the north lot, on the other side of the Morrison-Reist building Map 2


In other news: October is filled with Electoral Reform referenda throughout Canada! There’s one in British Columbia:

What You Need To Know About the BC Electoral Referendum | The Tyee

…and Prince Edward Island:

P.E.I. Referendum To Pose Question About Proportional Representation | Huffington Post

…and Kingston:

City adds referendum on ranked ballots to election | The Kingston Whig-Standard

…and right here in Waterloo Region, in Cambridge:

Cambridge to have referendum on ranked ballot system | CambridgeTimes.ca

For our Discussion Night on Wednesday, 26 September 2018 we’ll meet at the Blackwing Coffee Bar in Cambridge, and meet up with the Yes! Cambridge campaign team, who are advocating for a “Yes” answer to the question “Are you in favour of the City of Cambridge using a ranked ballot voting system for the 2022 municipal election?” We can also discuss how to provide support to the other referenda taking place in Canada.

What: FairvoteWRC Discussion Night: Referenda
When: Wednesday, 26 September 2018 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Blackwing Coffee Bar
Location: 135 George Street North, Cambridge, Ontario Map 3


Bob Jonkman,
Co-Chair, Fair Vote Waterloo
Phone: +1-519-635-9413
E-mail: bjonkman@sobac.com

FairvoteWRC Contact Info:
Phone: +1–519–279–2990
E-mail: info@fairvotewrc.ca

Electoral Reform is Alive and Kicking in Waterloo Region

The Hon. Bardish Chagger’s office reached out to Fair Vote Waterloo to invite a delegation to meet with the Hon. Karina Gould on Electoral Reform.

Cathy Scott, Byron Weber Becker and Bob Jonkman meet the Hon. Karina Gould and her infant son Oliver outside Waterloo City Hall

The Fair Vote Waterloo delegation Cathy Scott, Bryron Weber Becker and Bob Jonkman met with the current Minister of Democratic Institutions, the Hon. Karina Gould (and Oliver) at Waterloo City Hall

The morning meeting was productive.

Later that afternoon, the KW Liberal Association hosted a meet and greet for the visiting Minister just down the street at Patent Social. Fair Vote Waterloo Co-Chair Bob Jonkman attended the open-to-the-public event in hopes of engaging further with Minister Gould.

Local electoral reform advocates from Fair Vote and others rally to remind Minister Gould that electoral reform is still top of mind for many Canadians voters across the political spectrum.

There were excellent opportunities to discuss Proportional Representation with passersby.

Electoral reformers welcomed the opportunity to show off their artwork and discuss Proportional representation with the Minister of Democratic Institutions.

Canadians are (understandably) unhappy that the Liberals’ Electoral Reform promise was so cavalierly broken.

The Hon. Karina Gould was asked some hard questions.

Electoral Reform isn’t a partisan issue.

I found it interesting how many “honks” we got from passing motorists. Perhaps the greatest irony associated with Mr. Trudeau’s broken promise is that the exercise did more to raise Canadian public awareness of Proportional Representation than anything else in my lifetime.

Proportional Representation is an idea whose time has come. And it’s not going away.

(additional photos are available in my Reminding Liberals Flickr Album)

Kultrún and WR Nonviolence Day In The Park Volunteers Needed!

Hello FairVoting Friends,

Happy Canada Day long weekend to all!

Kultrun logo

Kultrun

It is the middle of festival season and the result of our recent provincial election is causing people to think about how our electoral system functions. Its a good time to talk with our community about electoral reform.

We are attending two great community events in July for which we could use a few volunteers to help with our information tables.

Kultrún is a world music festival at Victoria Park, Saturday, 14 & 15 July 2018, and the WR Nonviolence Day In The Park is on Roos Island on Saturday, 21 July 2018.

Waterloo Region NonviolenceThere are three 2 hour shifts for Kultrún on both days: 12pm-2pm, 2pm-4pm and 4pm-6pm.

WR Nonviolence Day In The Park is on Saturday only and has 2 shifts: 12pm-2:30pm and 2:30pm-5pm.

If you have a couple of hours to help out over the July 14-15th and July 21st weekends your support would be greatly appreciated!

With thanks,
Sharon
for FVC-WR

AGM

What a turn out for the Waterloo Region Chapter’s AGM.

The numbers keep going up.

You might even think people are serious about wanting equal and effective votes in a proportional representation electoral system.

 

FairvoteWRC Annual General Meeting and Discussion Night

People conferencing at a table Hi everyone! The provincial election is over, June is more than half over, and the year is almost half over! It’s time to have the Annual General Meeting for the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter!

AGM Agenda

Date: Wednesday, 27 June 2018 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

  1. Introductions
  2. Review/Accept minutes from 2017 AGM
  3. Statement from the Chair
  4. Financial Statement
  5. Old Business
  6. Election of Executive:

    There are five positions on our Executive Board up for re-election:

    • Co-Chair (1 position, two year term)
    • Treasurer (1 position, two year term)
    • Member-At-Large (3 positions, one year term)

    The other two Executive positions (Co-chair Sharon Sommerville and Secretary Kevin Smith) will start the second year of their two year term.

    You can nominate someone at the meeting, or nominate yourself. If you can’t make it to the meeting but would like to stand for nomination then contact me or FairvoteWRC by phone or e-mail (contact info below), and we’ll ensure your name is on the ballot.

    The voting will be by Single Transferable Vote; once elected, the new Executive will decide amongst themselves which positions to fill.

    Anyone who is a member of Fair Vote Canada can vote at the AGM and be nominated for a position on the Executive. You can get or renew your membership ($25) at the meeting, or online at:

    https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/civicrm/contribute/transact?id=12

  7. New Business
    1. Festival Season! (Sharon Sommerville, Cathy Scott)
    2. Should we initiate a provincial petition similar to our federal petitions for our regional MPPs? (Casey Howard)
    3. Should we begin a door to door canvass about electoral reform? (Casey Howard)
    4. Possible Fall Event: Panel discussion with Denis Pilon, Bob Hepburn (who wrote Ontario politicians should stay clear of electoral reform), and Mitch Potter (who wrote Will Ontario’s vote results open the door to electoral reform?) (Sharon Sommerville).
    5. Municipal Electoral Reform Referendum in Cambridge (Yes, Cambridge!) (Myron Steinman, Sharon Sommerville)
    6. Meeting with the new Chief Editor at the Record (Cathe Campbell)
    7. Marketing plan to draw people into our movement more effectively (Kevin Smith)

    Submissions for New Business are now closed
    If anyone has additional items for the New Business section of the agenda, please let me know (contact info below).

  8. Adjournment of AGM.

Discussion Night: Provincial Election Analysis

The 2018 provincial election gave the usual results: 40% votes, 60% seats, 100% power. But there are more subtle insights; some of FairvoteWRC’s members have given it deeper thought than 40:60:100. If you’ve done some analysis I invite you to come to the Discussion Night portion of the evening and present it, 5 minutes for presentation, plus 5 minutes for Q&A. Please contact me if you have some analysis to present.

See you all there!

What: FairvoteWRC Annual General Meeting and Discussion Night
When: Wednesday, 27 June 2018 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Community Room, Bread and Roses Co-op
Location: 307 Queen Street South, Kitchener Map 1

Note from Scott Stager Piatkowski:

Just chiming in as the Co-ordinator at Bread and Roses. The north lot is currently being repaved. It is still closed!

FairvoteWRC members may wish to consider not driving to the meeting or, if they do, parking off site (street parking on Benton or David, lot parking at Victoria Park, just inside the gate).

Scott

–Bob Jonkman, Co-Chair, Fair Vote Waterloo
Phone: +1–519–635–9413
E-mail: bjonkman@sobac.com

FairvoteWRC Contact Info:
Phone: +1–519–279–2990
E-mail: info@fairvotewrc.ca

Toronto Star Published A Positive Article On Electoral Reform

Old man with newspapers

News

Hello FairVoting Friends,

This past Saturday, the Toronto Star published a positive and informative article on electoral reform for Ontario in light of Thursday’s election results. Thought it might be of interest:

Will Ontario’s vote results open the door to electoral reform?

By Mitch Potter
Foreign Affairs Writer
Sat., June 9, 2018

Pierre Elliott Trudeau was fond of the concept. So too was his son Justin, who pledged to make it happen. And Stephen Harper? He was so taken with the importance of electoral reform that he once described it as “the key to Canada’s survival as a nation.”

The tyranny of the plurality — that winner-take-all format that awards majority governments a blank cheque to legislate with impunity, often with little more than a third of the electorate onside — never seems quite so bad when you are the winner who took it all.

(…)

So in light of all this is it not safe to assume electoral reform, the oldest chestnut in Canadian politics, is pretty much dead? A rainbow-dream for policy wonks, unlikely to ever happen?

Quite the opposite, actually.

Thursday’s outcome in Ontario — with the clear majority of voters, nearly 60 per cent, now on the outside, looking in — makes the province prime hunting ground for activists now looking to enlist the province in the reform momentum taking hold elsewhere in Canada.

(…)

Look for letters to editor in The Record this week as well!

Best wishes,
Sharon
for FVC-WR

All Candidates Meeting In Kitchener-Centre Tomorrow Evening

Hello Everyone in Kitchener Centre:

Tomorrow evening, Wednesday 23 May 2018, the first of 3 All Candidates Meetings is taking place at St. John’s Anglican Church, 23 Water St. North (at Duke) at 6 pm.

BallotThe meeting is an opportunity to discuss issues with candidates that are important to our community. We will sit together to have a respectful discussion about health care, income security, housing, the environment and of course, electoral reform.

Kitchener–Conestoga is next Monday evening, 28 May 2018 at 6pm at the Wilmot Recreation Centre, and Waterloo is next Tuesday, 29 May 2018 at 6pm at First United Church.

We hope you can join us to get to know all the candidates in Kitchener Centre, Kitchener–Conestoga and Waterloo.

Kind regards,
Sharon Sommerville
for FVC-WR

All Candidates Meeting hosted by @FairvoteWRC, @SPCofKW, @DivestWR, @KWCofC, @AAP_KW

BallotHello FairVoting Friends,

We are mid-election and this one is a biggy. If you are in Kitchener Centre, Waterloo or Kitchener Conestoga, please join us to speak with candidates at an All Candidates Meeting.

These meetings are not debates, they are an opportunity to sit at a table with a candidate and discuss issues that are important to our community and province. We have partnered with other social justice and environmental groups to address health care, income insecurity, housing and the environment.

In Kitchener Centre:

Wednesday, 23 May 2018, 6:00pm
St. John’s Anglican Church
23 Water Street North (at Duke) Map 1
Kitchener

In Kitchener Conestoga:

Monday, 28 May 2018, 6:00pm
Wilmot Recreation Complex
1291 Nafziger Road Map 2
Baden

In Waterloo:

Tuesday, 29 May 2018, 6:00pm
First United Church
16 William Street West (at King) Map 3
Waterloo

Hope you can join us for this opportunity to engage in a respectful discussion about important issues with our local candidates in the upcoming provincial election.

All the best,
Sharon Sommerville
for FVC-WR

Participating organizations: Fair Vote Waterloo, Social Development Centre Waterloo Region, Divest Waterloo, KW Council of Canadians, Alliance against Poverty, Disabilities and Human Rights Group, TransitionKW, RENT.

In two hours, electoral reform was mentioned only briefly

Martin Regg Cohn’s column on February 26 about low voter turnout in Ontario claimed the electorate is more alienated and disengaged than at any time in history.

Cohn then chaired a Ryerson Democracy Forum of the four party leaders and reported the results in a second column on March 2. The exchange was thoughtful, civil and collegial prompting Cohn’s question “Why can’t you be like this all the time?”

Ontario’s voter turnout is the worst in Canada and much lower than in most other democracies in the world. Reasons put forward by participants included the feeling that people’s votes don’t matter, broken promises, negativity and partisanship.

In two hours electoral reform was mentioned only briefly by the NDP and Green leaders with no discussion. What a travesty! Federal and provincial governments have been told that 90% of EU and OECD countries use proportional representation where all votes count, voter turnouts are much higher, more voices are heard, and there is much more collaboration and less negativity.

David Arthur, Kitchener