Two Important Referendums That Need Our Help

Hello FairVoters,

There are two important, we hope historic, referendums happening right now that could use our support.

Buttons with slogan 'Proportional Representation' The first one is the BC referendum to move from FPTP to PR to elect BC’s provincial legislature. Polling indicates it is going to be close. The teams in BC could us our help to get out the support they have identified in their communities. Ballots are being mailed out on October 22nd after which BC could use our help to contact PR supporters. Can you help make phone calls to known supporters to encourage them to mail their ballot? Even one hour would be helpful!

Web: EveryVoteCounts (@PR4BC) on Twitter


Yes! Cambridge | Campaign for Ranked Ballots The second referendum is happening right here in Waterloo Region. On October 22nd as part of the municipal election, Cambridge is holding a referendum on moving to a ranked ballot for future municipal elections. This is another historic opportunity to put a crack in FPTP particularly in Waterloo Region. Do you live in Cambridge? Do you have friends, family or colleagues that live in Cambridge? If you do, there is a town hall meeting this Thursday at 7 pm at Wesley United Church, 6 Cambridge Street to learn more about the referendum or how you can make this happen. Please let everyone you know (even vaguely!) in Cambridge about the meeting and why it is important to vote yes on the referendum question on October 22nd.

What: Yes Cambridge! Town Hall
When: Thursday, 11 October 2018 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Where: Wesley United Church
Location: 6 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, Ontario Map
Web: Yes! Cambridge


Let’s win both referendums!

Best wishes at Thanksgiving,
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.

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

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.

Join the FVC ThunderClap!

Hello FairVoting Friends,

Feb. 1st is the anniversary of the Liberal government breaking its promise to make 2015 the last election using First Past The Post (FPTP).

There is a lot we can do to let PM Trudeau know that we aren’t going to forget his broken promise and disinterest in ensuring that our electoral system works for every Canadian.

Fair Vote Canada is organizing a ThunderClap for 1 February 2018 and an online pledge in support of a press conference by Nathan Cullen (NDP Democratic Reform Critic) and Elizabeth May (leader of the Green Party of Canada) to mark the first anniversary of our government’s broken promise.

Discussion NightAnd, tomorrow night Fair Vote Waterloo is hosting an “Unhappy First Anniversary Party.” Join us to have cake and tweet lots of “Unhappy Anniversary” pictures to our local Liberal MPs and PM.

After the cake & pics, Dave Arthur will discuss the impact of thresholds in Proportional Representation systems.

We will meet Wednesday, 31 January 2018 at 7:00pm in the Community Room at the Bread and Roses Housing Co-op, 307 Queen Street South, at Courtland in Kitchener. Map 1 If you are coming by car, please park in the north parking lot Map 2 and place a note on the dashboard of your vehicle:

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

Unhappy about the broken electoral reform promise? Join the ThunderClap, sign the online pledge, eat cake!

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.

Our meeting with Minister Chagger and a letter in The Record

Meeting with Minister Chagger in 2016

Good Morning FairVoting Friends,

On Thursday, seven supporters of proportional representation met with The Honourable Bardish Chagger to express our support for electoral reform. Our goal was to keep the conversation about electoral reform going despite the government’s decision not to reform our electoral system.

The meeting was respectful and positive. Everyone had an opportunity to express their views and Minister Chagger promised to send our comments to The Hon. Karina Gould, Minister of Democratic Institutions.

Minister Chagger also said it is always worthwhile to come to talk with her so please take her up on it! If you would like to help keep the issue on the table, live in the riding of Waterloo and would like to speak with Minister Chagger, please contact her office to book an appointment. She can be reached at: bardish.chagger@parl.gc.ca

There is a letter to the editor in today’s Record which you might be interested in. It is a response to last Saturday’s article by Luisa D’Amato.

Letter to the Editor: Broken Promises (Mirror)

And, the one year anniversary of the government reneging on their promise to reform our electoral system is coming up on February 1st. Join us for an Unhappy First Anniversary Party on Wed. Jan. 31st at the Bread & Roses Co-Op, 307 Queen St. S, Kitchener Map in the Community Room at 7 p.m. More on that later!

Till then,

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.

Trudy Beaulne Remembered

Trudy Beaulne

Trudy Beaulne Introduces the Panelists at the panel discussion Is the Fair Elections Act Fair?

Last Friday, Trudy Beaulne, director of the Social Development Council of Waterloo Region, passed away.

The Board of Directors of Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter would like to express our condolences to Trudy’s family and all those who will feel her loss.

Trudy was a woman of strength, intelligence and compassion. Her work to strengthen our communities and improve the lives of individuals was an enormous gift to Waterloo Region. Trudy used her gifts to benefit others; her impact and legacy will remain with all whose lives she touched. Trudy will be remembered and greatly missed.

Sincerely,
Sharon Sommerville
for FairVote Canada – Waterloo Region

Trudy Beaulne obituary | The Record

“Is the Fair Elections Act Fair?” pictures by Bob Jonkman are licensed Creative Commons LicenseCC-BY.

Season’s Greetings From Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter

All I Want For Christmas Is Proportional Representation Hello FairVoting Friends,

The Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter would like to wish you and yours all the very best of the festive season.

And, to invite you to celebrate the season together at our festive pot luck on Wednesday, December 27th 2017 at 7pm. The get together is at 34 Aberdeen Road in Kitchener. Map

Safe & happy holidays to all!,

Sharon
for FVC-WR

All I Want For Christmas Is PR postcard by Laurel L. Russwurm is used under a CC 0 (Public Domain)Creative Commons — CC0 1.0 Universal (Public Domain dedication) license.

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