Our Meeting With Raj Saini

Fair Vote WRC visits RajHello Fairvoting Friends,

On Friday afternoon, a group of nine of us meet with Raj Saini, Liberal MP for Kitchener Centre. Nine folks pretty much fills Raj’s office! We presented Raj with this summer’s petition which asked that his party keep their campaign promise and enact legislation to change our electoral system in time for 2019. There were well over 500 signatures on the petition.

Our message was strong, clear, passionate and respectful. Each of us had time to speak directly to Raj about why they care about electoral reform. Those comments were very powerful.

People spoke about the inevitability of electoral reform as our own experience and recent polls (In late October Insights West found that 67% of Canadians want the Liberal government to keep its promise on electoral reform; in early October Angus Reid found the same) & the evidence that supports change. One of us emphasized that this is a legacy issue as Prime Minister Trudeau’s father before him established by patriating our Constitution and raised the question of what side of history do you and your party want to be on? One of us asked him, “I know, that you know that PR is the way to go to establish a fair electoral system, what happen?” One of us asked, what can we do to help you support PR?. One wanted to finally, after 40 years of voting, to be represented by someone they voted for.

We addressed Trudeau’s statement that the decision to renege on the promise of electoral reform was his to make and he made it because they weren’t going to be able to institute Alternative Vote (June 2017, Iqaluit, Nunavut). We raised the anti-democratic nature of that statement. Raj spoke about the threat of a referendum being the justification for not moving forward with electoral reform. We knew that because the Liberals were unwilling to negotiate with the NDP & Greens to bring about the ERRE recommendations, the NDP & Greens brokered a deal with the Conservatives. To bring in a majority report from the ERRE committee, the price was a referendum.

Raj promised to present our petition to the House and speak with the Minister of Democratic Institutions about our concerns. We thank Raj for taking those actions and for the respectful conversation we had on Friday.

There is interest in putting a group together to speak with the Hon. Bardish Chagger, Liberal MP for Waterloo. If anyone is interested in going to meet with Minister Chagger, please let me know and we will arrange a meeting. You can reach me at:

sharonsommerville@gmail.com

A sincere thank you to the eight fair voting supporters who attended Friday’s meeting. Everyone’s passion, honesty and determination is inspiring.

With thanks to all our supporters for your continued support as we work toward building a better Canada.

Best wishes,
Sharon
for FVC-WR

A Liberal, A Conservative And A Green

Hello FairVoting Friends,

At the end of September, FVC-WR attended the Cambridge International Festival. We would like to thank Bryan May, Liberal MP for Cambridge for visiting our information table and having a straight forward 25 minute conversation with us about the politics of PR. We appreciated Bryan’s time and his willingness share his perspective on the process of electoral reform. Although we see things differently, our thanks to Bryan for continuing the conversation on electoral reform.

Elizabeth May and Michael Chong will speak in Guelph next Tuesday evening, October the 10th on reforming Canada’s democracy. “Turning Parliament Inside Out: Practical Ideas for Reforming Canada’s Democracy” is an opportunity to hear Ms. May speak about electoral reform and Mr. Chong address parliamentary reform. It should be an interesting evening!

Additional details about the evening are below.

Best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Sharon for FVC-WR

Fair Vote Guelph presents

Turning Parliament Inside Out

based on the book edited by Michael Chong, Scott Simms, and Kennedy Stewart

Practical Ideas for Reforming Canada’s Democracy

featuring

Michael Chong
Michael Chong
on Parliamentary Reform
Elizabeth May
Elizabeth May
on Electoral Reform



Tuesday, October 10, 2017 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Harcourt United Church, 87 Dean Avenue, Guelph

Liberal and NDP representatives from the local riding associations have been invited to reflect on the main presentations

This event is free and accessible (through the back door to the church around the corner from the parking lot). All welcome. Audience participation encouraged. Donations accepted.

Volunteers needed for info table at Cambridge International Festival

Hello FairVoting Friends,

Hope everyone has had a great summer.

FVC-WR has had a fabulous summer festival season; spoken with hundreds of people in our community, 50 pages of petitions have been signed and many postcards have been sent. Thank you all, for your continued support and work so that Canadians can have a fair electoral system.

Our last summer event, the Cambridge International FestivalCambridge International Festival, is coming up on Saturday, 23 September 2017. It is a fun day and the weather promises to be perfect.

If anyone has a couple of hours to share, volunteers are needed and greatly appreciated! The shifts are: 11:00am–1:30pm, 1:30pm–4:00pm & 4:00pm–6:00pm. Previous experience at a community information table isn’t needed. If you want to help, let us know!

Best wishes,
Sharon
for FVC-WR


You can get these announcements by e-mail by subscribing to the Fair Vote Waterloo Announcements mailing list or the Fair Vote Waterloo Discussion mailing list.

Visit @FairvoteWRC at @OSWaterloo This Afternoon!

Good Morning FairVoting Friends,

Join us at Open Streets in Waterloo Square this afternoon (12 – 5pm) to sign a petition or send a postcard! Let’s remind our government of their promise to ensure equality for all voters.

Our new t-shirts have arrived and they look terrific. The black lettering on white is very striking and gets our message across.

The message reads:

DEMAND REPRESENTATION

Fair & Proportional

www.fairvotecanada.ca

The shirts will be available to purchase by donation at our information table this today at Open Streets in Waterloo Square from noon to 5 pm.

Hope to see you soon!

Best wishes,
Sharon
for FVC-WR

A Poster: It Was Only Ever AV For Trudeau

NewsDear FairVoting Friends,

Last Tuesday, Prime Minister Trudeau answered a question on electoral reform at a press conference in Ottawa. His answer was a long last truthful; the LPC dropped electoral reform because Alternative Vote (ranked ballot/preferential vote) wasn’t the electoral system of choice. The earlier talking points used by Liberal MPs (no national consensus, can’t move forward without the support of Canadians etc.) were proven to be smoke and mirrors.

This is an article by Althia Raj, Ottawa Bureau Chief for the Huffington Post that reports on the Prime Minister’s comments:

Trudeau Blames Opposition For Not Reading His Mind On Electoral Reform

The prime minister could have been honest with MPs and with Canadians and said during the campaign that he wanted a preferential ballot. He could have saved taxpayers millions of dollars — in committee travel costs, ministers’ travel costs and for a $2-million “mydemocracy.ca” survey — for public consultations that he didn’t intend to pay attention to.

Instead, he chose to make a political ploy of letting Canadians — many of them NDP and Green party voters — believe he was open to a proportional voting system that would give their parties a stronger voice in the House of Commons.

Fair Vote Canada has put together a poster which illustrates Trudeau’s comments and about face on electoral reform. If you could share the poster to let folks know that the Prime Minister has been misleading Canadians, it would help hold the government to account.

If you have any questions, please be in touch. My email is sharonsommerville@gmail.com.

All the best,
Sharon
for FVC-WR

Justin Trudeau on Electoral Reform | Before: Such a study must be undertaken _without any preconceived notions of what the best solution would be._ After: We had a preference to give people a ranked ballot... | Before: I'm really open to listening to Canadians. I have moved in my thinking towards a greater degree of openness to what Canadians actually want.  After: I have been consistent and crystal clear from the beginning of my political career... I think proportional representation would be bad for our country. | Before: It's not up to any one person, even the Prime Minister, to define exactly what the right system is.  After: It was my choice to make.

Volunteers Needed For Summer Festival Fun

Info booth

Multicultural Festival 2011

Hello FairVoting Friends,

The summer festival season is underway and we will be at the Multicultural Festival this weekend, 24-25 June 2017. If you are attending the festival, please drop in to say hello! Our table is on the west side of Jubilee Drive, just south of the bridge to Roos Island. Get caught up on what’s happening with electoral reform, send a postcard or sign a petition.

We will be attending eight other festivals over the summer. Do you have two hours to help out at a festival table? You don’t need to be an electoral systems expert, a basic understanding of the problems with FPTP and the advantages of PR and a belief in fairness and equality is all that is needed.

Here is a list of the festivals we will be attending:

  • Kultrun – Sat. July 8 and Sun. July 9 – Victoria Park
  • Day in the Park – Sun. July 9 – Victoria Park
  • Open Streets – Sun. July 26 – Waterloo Square
  • Open Streets – Sun. August 21 – Waterloo Square
  • LINK Family Picnic – Sat. Aug. 26 and Sun. Aug. 27 – Victoria Park
  • Labour Day Picnic – Mon. Sept. 4 – Waterloo Park
  • Open Streets – Sun. Sept. 17 – Waterloo Square
  • Cambridge International Festival – Sat. Sept. 23 – Riverside Park

There are three shifts: Noon to 2pm, 2pm to 4pm and 4pm to 6pm.

We have a great time talking with interested folks, please consider joining us at a festival this summer!

You can email me at sharonsommerville@gmail.com if you have any questions or want to sign up for a shift.

All the best,
Sharon
for FVC-WR


You can get these announcements by e-mail by subscribing to the Fair Vote Waterloo Announcements mailing list or the Fair Vote Waterloo Discussion mailing list.

The Vote Has Been Counted And The Question Is What Do Liberals Stand For?

Dear FairVoting Supporters,

On Wednesday, 31 May 2017, the House of Commons voted 159 to 146 against adopting the recommendations of the Electoral Reform Committee. Two Liberal MPs voted for the motion: Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Beaches-East York) and Sean Casey (Charlottetown). Our thanks to MPs Erskine-Smith and Casey for keeping the promise they campaigned on and standing up for what they believe in.

Our local Liberal MPs did not support the motion. We have heard a variety of reasons: couldn’t support an NDP motion, couldn’t support a referendum and no national consensus on change or a voting system.

We elected the Liberal Party to offer leadership on electoral reform. For electoral reform, leadership means making the case for change. Instead of leading, the LPC hid behind a bogus consultation process and claimed there was no consensus.

Strengthening Canada’s democracy through establishing a fair and equitable electoral system is non-partisan issue because democracy is a non-partisan issue.

There are a number of ways to deal with a referendum if there is the will to do so but if you are looking for a backdoor, you will find one.

The movement toward a fair voting system for Canada isn’t over, it isn’t even close.

More Canadians than ever understand the need for electoral reform. We will keep working until Canada has an electoral system that serves Canadians not just the two largest political parties. This issue is alive and will be an election issue in 2019.

Tonight Liberal MPs across the country should be asking themselves what they actually stand for; as Anita Nickerson’s outstanding letter in yesterday’s Record said: if you don’t represent your campaign promises and you don’t represent the evidence and you don’t represent the wishes of your constituents, what do you represent?

See the full letter here:

Government should keep its promise | TheRecord.com (Mirror)

So many thanks to everyone who phoned their MPs, who put in hours canvassing, who visited your MP or wrote letters to the Record and their MP. What an amazing effort and a great campaign! Thank you all!

FVC-WR will be at the tri-Pride Festival this Saturday from noon to 8 pm in Victoria Park. It is always a great day and the weather promises to be sunny and warm. Please come and see us there!

Onward!

Sharon for FVC-WR


You can get these announcements by e-mail by subscribing to the Fair Vote Waterloo Announcements mailing list or the Fair Vote Waterloo Discussion mailing list.

Monday & Tuesday: Our Last Kick At The Electoral Reform Can Before 2019!

Hello FairVoting Friends,

This is it! On Wednesday, 31 May 2017, MPs will vote on adopting the recommendations of the ERRE committee report. Monday and Tuesday is our chance to ask our local MPs to vote for the motion.

Can you call your MP Monday or Tuesday to let them know you want them to vote in favour of the motion? The more people who call, the stronger our message. And, we need to send a strong message to our MPs. They promised to be the voice of their constituents in Ottawa. Let’s make them keep that promise as well as the promise to end FPTP.

Here are the telephone numbers of our local MPs:

Waterloo — Bardish Chagger: +1–519–746–1573

Kitchener Centre — Raj Saini: +1–519–741–2001

Kitchener South – Hespeler — Marwan Tabbara: +1–519–571–5509

Cambridge — Bryan May: +1–519–624–7440

Kitchener – Conestoga — Harold Albrecht: +1–519–578–3773

You can even call after office hours and leave a message. If you have any questions, please email me at sharonsommerville@gmail.com

Thank you for taking action!

All the best,

Sharon
for FVC-WR


You can get these announcements by e-mail by subscribing to the Fair Vote Waterloo Announcements mailing list or the Fair Vote Waterloo Discussion mailing list.

Fair Vote Canada releases poll that confirms Canadians want Proportional Reprentation

Good Evening FairVoting Friends,

Last week FairVote Canada released the results of a poll done by Strategic Communications between April 22 – May 9th, 2017. 15,806 people were surveyed in 20 Liberal ridings and the results confirm that there is a consensus in support of proportion representation.

Closer to home, results from Kitchener Centre are clear: 82% of respondents support proportional representation and 75% of respondents want Raj Saini to advocate for PR in Parliament.

This is the report from Strategic Communications: Fair Vote Canada National Survey IVR Report (.PDF, 1.1 MBytes)

Can you help spread the word that Kitchener Centre wants electoral reform? Two posters that can be used on social media are below.

On 31 May 2017, Parliament will discuss and vote on an NDP motion to adopt the recommendations of the electoral reform committee to move to a moderate form of PR. Stay tuned for information about a campaign to tell Liberal MPs to keep their promise on electoral reform and vote in favour of the NDP motion.

With thanks,
Sharon
FVC-WR

Constituents in Kitchener Centre support proportional representation | In a proportional system, every possible vote will count toward electing someone from the party you support. Under our current first-past-the-post system, if you vote for a candidate that does not win, your vote will not elect a representative. Are you in favour of a system that would make every possible vote count toward representation? | Yes=82%, No=18% of decided constituents | Tell Raj Saini to vote YES to PR

Constituents in Kitchener Centre want MP Raj Saini to stand up for PR | Do you want your Member of Parliament, Raj Saini, to advocate in the House of Commons that the Liberal government keep its promise, and change our system to proportional representation in time for the next election? | Yes=75%, No=25% of decided constituents | There is a consensus | Tell Raj Saini to vote YES to PR

PM Trudeau in Waterloo Region on Tuesday morning, 25 April 2017

Sharon Sommerville and Byron Weber Becker hold sign "Proportional Representation for a better democracy"

Sharon Sommerville and Byron Weber Becker

Good Morning FairVoting Friends,

PM Trudeau is in Waterloo Region today. Two of us, Evan Rosamond and I took our large PR = Better Governance sign and rallied at two of his pit stops to remind the PM of his broken campaign promise.

We became friendly with the PM’s RCMP security detail as we were all standing around a lot which gave us the opportunity to do a PR 101 with one of the security people.

At the first stop, the PM exited the building, waved and went directly into his vehicle. We managed to yell: “Prime Minister, what happened?” before he got into his vehicle.

At the second stop, it was a longer walk between the car and the entrance. Because the area was open, although we were kept about 20 ft from the PM, he could not have missed our sign, especially since he just saw it. When he entered the building we yelled: “Prime Minister, what about your promise?” When he exited, there was a group of about 15 or so young people looking for selfies and autographs. The PM waded into the group to pose for selfies and sign autographs. To get to his car he had to walk toward us, at which point we yelled: “Any time for policy?” Apparently not, as he waved at us and said, “Thanks for coming out”.

If the chance ever presents itself, impromptu events are worthwhile.

One thing we learned today: security details want to see your hands, no hands in pockets please.

Onward!
Sharon


You can get these announcements by e-mail by subscribing to the Fair Vote Waterloo Announcements mailing list or the Fair Vote Waterloo Discussion mailing list.