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

Reminding Raj Saini about Electoral Reform

Fair Vote WRC visits Raj

Friday’s Petition Crew

To encourage the Liberals to keep their promise to reform our electoral system,on Friday afternoon (November 10th, 2017) we delivered our 500+ signature Fair Vote petition to Kitchener Centre MP Raj Saini.  We had a brief opportunity to meet with Mr. Saini to explain our frustrations with his government’s failure to deliver on their oft repeated Electoral Reform Promise.

Mr Saini told us the only reason he voted against accepting the ERRE report was the inclusion of a referendum.  (Of course, had the Liberals on the ERRE Committee had been willing to work across party lines with the Greens and NDP there would have been no need for the inclusion of a referendum in the report.)  He did, however, promise to submit the Petition to the House of Commons.

In case you’ve forgotten, this is what Mr. Saini had to say about electoral reform before he was elected MP.

Joint meeting of @FairvoteWRC and KW Council of Canadians @KWCofC

Group discussionHi Fair Voters: This month, the regular date for the Fair Vote Waterloo Discussion Night falls on the same day as the KW Council of Canadians meeting. But rather than making you choose one or the other, we’re holding a joint meeting!

There is considerable overlap in the membership of our groups, and one of the Council of Canadians’ campaigns is Electoral Reform. This joint meeting is one way that we can offer support to CoC.


Council of Canadians | Acting for social justice | Conseil des Canadiens | Agir pour la justice socialeThis is also an opportunity for FairvoteWRC members who haven’t heard about Council of Canadians, and might like to join that organization. And, of course, it’s an introduction to FairvoteWRC for CoC members who would like to get involved with FairvoteWRC in a focused campaign solely on electoral reform.

What: Joint meeting of @FairvoteWRC and KW Council of Canadians @KWCofC
When: Wednesday, 25 October 2017 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Community Meeting Room, Bread & Roses Co-op
Location: 307 Queen Street South, Kitchener, Ontario Map 1

Parking: If you’re driving, 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

There’s no fixed agenda for this meeting, but the following are points for discussion:

There will be a town hall meeting sponsored by the Waterloo Regional Labour Council on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 6:30 pm and St. David’s Catholic Secondary School, 4 High St, Waterloo featuring Kitchener- Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife, Ontario Health Coalition Executive Director Natalie Mehra, and other local politicians. We urge all who can get there to attend.

Several of us attended the CoC Guelph meeting on 18 October at which Maude Barlow and Gus Van Harten spoke eloquently about the dangers of NAFTA and its implications for water rights. This provided a number of ideas we can talk about regarding further advocacy and actions.

  • Van Harten urged everyone present to write to Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs at chrystia.freeland@international.gc.ca and ask her with due respect to get Canada out of ISDS

Philippe Charbonneau (Political Team Admin Assistant in Ottawa) asks if chapters would be interested in screening a new documentary on the cooperative enterprise model called A Silent Transformation that features Maude Barlow. There would be a small fee. If there is sufficient interest, we will ask for further details.

The Liberal government has not kept the campaign promise to restore protection to the 99% of lakes and rivers removed from the schedule of protected waters under the Harper government. CoC chapters are urged to call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Transport Minister Marc Garneau for protection of a local lake or river. For further details see No waters left behind – nominate a lake or river worthy of protection and Groups across Canada urge Trudeau government to protect 100% of lakes and rivers.

Friday, 10 November 2017 at 3:30pm, FairvoteWRC will present a petition in support of proportional representation to MP Raj Saini at his Constituency Office (Suite 202 – 209 Frederick Street, Kitchener. Electoral reform is one of the areas in which CoC and FairvoteWRC overlap, and the more we can coordinate our efforts, the more likely we are to succeed. All are invited to attend.

The FairvoteWRC Outreach subcommittee is reaching out to faith-based communities to build awareness of and allies on the issue of proportional representation (PR) in the community. Their goals are to

  • create awareness of FairvoteWRC
  • offer an opportunity to further educate about the issue
  • invite endorsement of our work with an invitation to engage or join with us in the future

On 1 February 2017 the mandate letter for the Hon. Kristina Gould, Minister of Democratic Institutions was released, marking the first official announcement that the Liberals would be breaking their promise that “2015 will be the last election under First Past The Post”. FairvoteWRC intends to hold an event (protest, rally, public information meeting) to remind people, and especially the Liberals, that we have not forgotten the promise, and that we’ll be holding the Liberals to account.

Every year FairvoteWRC tries to hold several public information events during the winter months. We could bring in a speaker, show a movie, or hold a seminar to explain the mechanics of proportional representation. Sometimes these events are held as part of Discussion Nights; sometimes they’re held separately. The Kitchener Public Library has been a suitable venue in the past.

See you on Wednesday!

–Bob Jonkman,
FairvoteWRC Co-chair

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.

Upcoming Fair Vote events for Fall 2017

There are a number of upcoming events:

Discussion Night for Fair Voting — an #IDOPAN event

Chat

Discussion

When: Wednesday, 27 September 2017 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Community Room, Bread and Roses Co-operative Homes
Location: 307 Queen Street South, Kitchener Map

Discussion Nights are returning to Fair Vote Waterloo! Thanks to a bit of prompting from Fair Vote Canada we’ll be holding a guided discussion to answer the questions How can we capitalize on what has happened over the last two years? and How can we raise the profile of Proportional Representation, and elect a Member of Parliament who supports PR, and make the next election different?

If you’re coming to Discussion Night please make sure you’re subscribed to either the Discussion or Announcements mailing list. We’ll e-mail a parking permit to those mailing lists for anyone who’s driving in.


Upcoming Webinars

Fair Vote Canada has scheduled a number of Webinars in the upcoming months. Check their Webinars schedule page for up-to-date information.

Countries with PR : How has it shaped their politics for the better?

When: Sunday 24 September 2017 at 7:00pm EDT

Special Guest: Associate Professor and Electoral Reform Expert Dennis Pilon. Dennis is the author of several books including “The Politics of Voting: Reforming Canada’s Electoral System” and many articles. Full bio at Dennis M. Pilon | Faculty Profile | Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. Dennis will discuss the use of PR in other western democracies and how it has made a difference to their politics.

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2472128035323660545


Building your local team and mentoring local leadership

When: Sunday 1 October 2017 at 3:00pm EDT

Special Guest: Sharon Sommerville, leader of Fair Vote Canada’s Waterloo Region team. Sharon has been involved with Fair Vote Canada since about 2012, and leads one of the most active chapters in Canada, hosting 4-5 events, about 10 community tables, speaking engagements and numerous meetings with MPs each year, as well as regular volunteer meetings. Largely as a result of this work, Waterloo Region had one of the best attended electoral reform consultations in Canada. In this workshop she’ll share what has worked to get new volunteers involved and nurture shared leadership within the team — generating more activities and creativity and avoiding burnout. This workshop will be an opportunity for other Fair Vote Canada leaders to share their successes and challenges.

Register: If you are not on our Chapters/teams email list and would like to join this workshop, please contact anita.nickerson@fairvote.ca


PR Systems for Canada Series
Part One: Multi-member Systems — Single Transferable Vote (PR-STV) and Local PR

When: Saturday 21 October 2017 at 2:00pm EDT

Special Guest: Byron Weber Becker. Find out how Single Transferable Vote (PR-STV) and an adaptation of it (Local PR) works for Canada! Byron Weber Becker teaches Computer Science at University of Waterloo. He has combined his passion for electoral change and his computer science expertise into a web site (http://election-modelling.ca) with detailed simulations of how various proportional options for Canada perform with different features under different conditions. He testified to the all-party committee on electoral reform and was asked to do additional work for them. Byron has been involved with the design of two made-for-Canada electoral systems, Rural-Urban Proportional Representation (in collaboration with Fair Vote Canada and Fair Voting BC — see webinar three in this series) and Local Proportional Representation.

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8893666268164002817


Helping Your Team Message to and Reach Out to Youth!

When: Sunday 29 October 2017 at 1:00pm EDT

Special Guest: Chardaye Bueckert. Chardaye Bueckert has demonstrated her passion for youth engagement as a member of Fair Vote Canada’s National Council and Youth Committee, as a World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper, and as president of Simon Fraser University’s student government. Her accomplishments as a young leader were recently recognized with a Schwarzman Scholarship, enabling Chardaye to complete a Masters in Global Affairs in China. Chardaye is 26 years old and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Register: If you are not on our Chapters/teams email list and would like to join this workshop, please contact anita.nickerson@fairvote.ca


Busting the Most Common Myths about PR for Canada: Get the Facts!

When: Sunday 12 November 2017 at 2:00pm EDT

Does PR mean instability? Will MPs still be accountable? What about “fringe parties”? Get the facts to answer all the most common myths, take a look at the research on PR, and ask your questions!

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4598079947118491651


PR Systems for Canada Series
Part Two: Top-up Systems — Mixed Member Proportional (MMP)

When: Sunday 26 November 2017 at 2:00pm EDT

Special Guest: Byron Weber Becker. Find out how Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) works for Canada! Byron Weber Becker teaches Computer Science at University of Waterloo. He has combined his passion for electoral change and his computer science expertise into a web site (http://election-modelling.ca) with detailed simulations of how various proportional options for Canada perform with different features under different conditions. He testified to the all-party committee on electoral reform and was asked to do additional work for the committee. Byron has been involved with the design of two made-for-Canada electoral systems, Rural-Urban Proportional Representation (in collaboration with Fair Vote Canada and Fair Voting BC — see webinar three in this series) and Local Proportional Representation (see webinar one in this series).

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6428164274994150914


PR Systems for Canada Series
Part Three: Made-for-Canada hybrid, blended systems — Rural-Urban Proportional

When: Sunday 10 December 2017 at 2:00pm EDT

Special Guest: Byron Weber Becker. Find out how Rural-Urban Proportional and Local PR work for Canada! Byron Weber Becker teaches Computer Science at University of Waterloo. He has combined his passion for electoral change and his computer science expertise into a web site (http://election-modelling.ca) with detailed simulations of how various proportional options for Canada perform with different features under different conditions. He testified to the all-party committee on electoral reform and was asked to do additional work for the committee. Byron has been involved with the design of two made-for-Canada electoral systems, Rural-Urban Proportional Representation (in collaboration with Fair Vote Canada and Fair Voting BC) and Local Proportional Representation (see webinar one in this series).

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2400232069497311234

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

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.

Tonight: Annual General Meeting of @FairvoteWRC (21 June 2017)

Meeting

Meeting

A quick, last-minute reminder that the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter is having its Annual General Meeting tonight:

What: Fair Vote Waterloo Annual General Meeting
When: Wednesday, 21 June 2017 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm (6:00pm dinner)
Where: Egg Roll King Restaurant
Location: 85 Courtland Avenue East, Kitchener, Ontario Map

We’ll have a summary of last year’s events, planning of upcoming events, and the election of the 2017-2018 Executive Board.

For a full agenda see Fair Vote Waterloo Annual General Meeting for 2017 on the calendar.

–Bob.

Open Streets on Sunday!

See you there!