2016 Strategy and Executive Meeting


Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter

Strategy and Executive Meeting, 19 May 2016, 7:00pm

Location: Sharon Sommerville’s dining room, 85 Westmount Road South, Waterloo, Ontario

Attending:

  • Sharon Sommerville (Co-chair)
  • Bob Jonkman (Co-chair)
  • Aden Seaman (Treasurer)
  • Donald Fraser
  • Paul Nijjar
  • David Dirks
  • Stuart Chandler
  • Sean Haberlin
  • Byron Weber Becker
  • David Arthur
  • Barbara Campbell
  • Cathy Campbell

Regrets:

  • Kevin Smith (Secretary)
  • Jennifer Ross (Member at Large)
  • Shannon Adshade (Member at Large)
  1. Introductions were made
  2. Update – Meeting with Minister Monsef on Wednesday, 25 May 2016
    • Jennifer Ross and Sharon Sommerville of Fair Vote Waterloo, and Kelly Carmichael of Fair Vote Canada will meet with the Hon. Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions on Wednesday, 25 May 2016
    • Meeting for 30 minutes as a delegation of Fair Vote Canada.
    • Kelly Carmichael is the Executive Director of Fair Vote Canada.
    • Jennifer Ross is the Treasurer of the Fair Vote Canada National Council.
    • This is to be a frank discussion on the process of Electoral Reform.
    • Fair Vote Canada must not force the Liberals in the direction of Fair Vote views; instead, this delegation will bring a moderate voice to the table.
    • Proposal: The local group (Fair Vote Waterloo) feels the All-party Parliamentary Committee (APC) makeup is not democratic enough.
    • The APC is to make recommendations to parliament.
    • The Liberals will strike the All-party Parliamentary Committee (it has not yet been formed).
    • Fair Vote Waterloo believes that a decision to create a fair voting system should be made by a fair committee.
    • Committee creation procedures are detailed in Standing Orders in Council.
    • The APC is to complete reports from local electoral districts by 1 October 2016, and is to report to parliament on 1 December 2016.
    • The APC will consist of six Liberals, three Conservatives, and 1 NDP member. There will be one Bloc Quebecois member and one Green Party member (Elizabeth May) who are not allowed to vote or make motions.
    • Fair Vote Waterloo believes the APC should create a Citizens’ Assembly to make determinations, then take those findings to Parliament. We realize that will not happen here.
    • What is the purpose of the Town Hall meetings?
    • Fair Vote Canada and Lead Now have a good working relationship.

      • Lead Now started in 2011 to lead online discourse in, e.g. the environment and democracy. There are about 500,000 people involved.
      • Lead Now had an active team for strategic voting, providing education and doing canvassing. This was good training for Electoral Reform.
      • Fair Vote Waterloo will not be canvassing, but people can be a member of both organizations.
      • The NDP is also involved in canvassing.
      • Fair Vote Waterloo will be sharing information tables with Lead Now at the summer festivals.
      • Canvass districts are being divided by organization.
      • The NDP has resources for canvassing: poll maps, membership lists; Sean Haberlin wants to share resources.
      • Postcards for support were sent to the NDP House Leader.
      • Postcards sent to Minister Monsef will be forwarded to the MP of the sender (so better to send it to your MP in the first place).
      • Lead Now also has postcards and canvass material.
      • Q: Are Fair Vote Waterloo and Lead Now cross-promoting? e.g. Canvassing events, summaries of events.
        A: We don’t want to use the mailing list for non-Fair Vote material, but OK to put these items on the Web site, social media. Discussion on mailing list policy to be deferred for another meeting.
  3. Objectives
    • How many opportunities do we have to make our pitch?
    • We hope that Minister Monsef will come to Waterloo Region.
    • We should be prepared to make deputations to the APC and at the Town Hall meetings.
    • Raj Saini (Kitchener Centre) and the Hon. Bardish Chagger (Waterloo) have stated their commitment to Fair Vote Waterloo bring Minister Monsef to Waterloo Region.
    • Fair Vote Waterloo should give a presentation to Minister Monsef and the APC.
    • Deputations to the APC and at the Town Hall meetings are separate events.
    • There could be as many as seven opportunities: Five at each Electoral District Town Hall meeting; to Minister Monsef; and to the APC.
    • Fair Vote Waterloo will offer to help with the Town Hall meetings: Approaching MPs; Working with MPs.
    • Town Hall meetings were promised by the Prime Minister.
    • “How can I help with the Town Hall?” is a good approach.
    • Public Education:
      • Media: Needs education.
      • Mainstream media is still dismissive of Electoral Reform and Proportional Representation.
      • The media piece is huge…
      • Letter Writing Committee will continue to monitor Letters to the Editors and write responses, will focus on local media.
      • The Record is not interested in exploring the issue — John Roe (Editor at The Record) was looking for an OpEd article to explain the issue. The OpEd article was submitted by Sharon Sommerville, but it was not published.
      • Fair Vote Waterloo should make phone calls to local media: CTV, CBC, radio, print media.
      • Donald Fraser and Bob Jonkman will form the Media Outreach Team.
      • The Media Outreach Team will pitch the idea by e-mail: “How can we help you put this (Electoral Reform) out to the community?”
    • Broadening the support base:
      • Interest is shown during canvassing, but canvassers don’t have follow-up resources.
      • Fair Vote Waterloo needs an Outreach Worker

        • “Here is something you can do… ”
        • Outreach Worker will staff summer festival booths and attend meetings.
        • Aden Seaman will be the Fair Vote Waterloo Outreach Worker.
        • Bob Jonkman and Sharon Sommerville are willing to share their phone numbers and e-mail addresses as outreach contacts.
        • Logistics: Have a handout with info for Fair Vote Canada, Lead Now, the Broadbent Institute.
        • Aden Seaman will create business cards for information handout.
      • Outreach to other groups?
        • Lead Now, NDP are already on board.
        • Green Party? Other groups?
        • Someone to coordinate outreach to Co-ops?
        • Byron Weber Becker will gather a list of Co-ops from the Province’s web site.
  4. Town Hall meetings
    • Not much direction has been given.
    • Town Hall meetings will either be information sessions or feedback sessions.
    • Which Members of Parliament will hold Town Hall meetings?
    • Local constituents should contact their MPs to request Town Hall meetings.
      • Bob Jonkman will contact Harold Albrecht (Kitchener–Conestoga).
      • Sean Haberlin will contact the Hon. Bardish Chagger (Waterloo).
      • Byron Weber Becker will contact Raj Saini (Kitchener Centre).
      • Pitch as “I can help you.”
      • Need Cambridge contacts: Shannon Adshade? Donna Reid?
      • Need Kitchener South–Hespeler contacts: David Weber?
    • How to prevent Town Hall meetings from being dominated by people advocating their favourite voting system?
    • We need broad education and public outreach.
    • Fair Vote Waterloo can make public presentations in local electoral districts a few days before the Town Hall meetings.
    • … but Fair Vote Waterloo may be dismissed for having a bias.
    • The media may also dismiss Fair Vote Waterloo for having a bias.
    • Fair Vote Waterloo should have available a one page document on the advantages and values of Proportional Representation, but not the mechanics of voting systems.
    • This one pager should include sample ballots.
    • We can offer to media outlets a summary; Bob Jonkman will post on the Fair Vote Waterloo web site the OpEd article written by Sharon Sommerville.
    • David Dirks will investigate making that summary into a video.
  5. Meeting with the Hon. Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions
    • Minister Monsef may be coming to Kitchener-Waterloo.
    • Fair Vote Waterloo should make a presentation to her.
    • We would like Minister Monsef to make a presentation to the public.
    • What is the relationship between the All-party Parliamentary Committee and Minister Monsef?
      • The Minister is separate from APC.
      • The Minister will review report published by APC in December.
      • The Minister will then propose legislation to parliament.
      • The Minister is not bound by the APC report.
    • What is the way to approach Minister Monsef to influence the outcome?
      • Build on what the Liberals have been doing.
      • Affirm the eight principles guiding Electoral Reform introduced by Minister Monsef.
      • Present Electoral Reform as a value-based decision.
      • Your views are consistent with these values and will lead to this outcome.
    • Elizabeth May has stated that she will participate in the All-party Parliamentary Committee.
    • We invite Minister Monsef to speak for 30 minutes, followed by questions from the public for 30 minutes.
  6. Deputations to All-party Parliamentary Committee
    • The All-party Parliamentary Committee may come to Kitchener-Waterloo.
    • Raj Saini and the Hon. Bardish Chagger are working on bringing the APC to KW.
    • Pointers: How to make a deputation?
      • Make them like you.
      • Make it short and to the point.
      • Know your material.
    • Sometimes the Committee doesn’t travel. Deputations have to go to Ottawa, or use video links.
    • Draw on people with influence, eg. Frank Valeriote.
    • Michael Chong (MP for Wellington–Halton Hills) is likely to put on a Town Hall meeting.
  7. Summer/Fall Outreach
    • Fair Vote Waterloo should hold a workshop on how to do deputations.
    • Festivals, events. We will have info cards for handouts.
    • Bob Jonkman to put events list on Discussion Night announcement.
    • Separate message for a list of events and a request for volunteers to the Announcement mailing list.
    • Donald Fraser is making a graphic of election results to be used as a handout.
    • Have a 1/4 page listing Town Hall meetings and presentations.
    • Let us know about opportunities for outreach.
    • Fair Vote Waterloo can have an information table at Victoria Park and City Hall at no cost.
    • Maybe have an info table at Speaker’s Corner?
    • Get Minister Monsef during Democracy Week (11-17 September 2016)?
    • We will set up an e-mail distribution list for the Action Team.
    • Spending money?
      • Use Facebook “Boost Post” or Google’s “AdWords” for outreach?
      • Paul Nijjar will investigate.
    • Social Media
      • Aden Seaman reports that the http://fairvotewrc.ca/ website gets 10,000 hits per month.
      • Web site items are automatically sent to Twitter, which are automatically sent to Facebook. Bob Jonkman reports that the Facebook items get comments, but isn’t on Facebook often enough to respond.
      • Sean Haberlin reports that Reddit gets discussions; the activity he sees already reflects his views.
      • Should Fair Vote Waterloo start a thread on Electoral Reform on Reddit?

Minutes taken by Bob Jonkman.