FairvoteWRC Monthly Discussion Night Is At The Bauer Kitchen, Monday 28 March 2016

Group discussion

Group discussion

Hello Fair Voting Friends,

Just a reminder that our monthly discussion night is this evening.

In case we need something to discuss:

The Liberal’s budget has met with a range of responses:

Trudeau’s first budget is about direct investments not tax gimmicks (Karl Nerenberg, Rabble.ca)

Trudeau’s ‘To Be Continued’ Budget (Susan Delacourt, The Tyee)

Deceit and democracy: Do broken election promises matter? Part 1: Liberals with the truth (Craig Scott, Rabble.ca)

And there is more Electoral Reform afoot in other jurisdictions:

Liberals would set aside at least 10% of Manitoba seats for indigenous MLAs (CBC)

City of Vancouver wants more applicants for Election Task Force (CHML)

What: Discussion Night
When: Monday, 28 March 2016 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: The Bauer Kitchen
Location: 187 King Street South, Waterloo, Ontario Map

Parking is on Caroline Street.

If you’re on Facebook you can register for the event, but it’s not required; just show up!

See you all tonight!
Best regards,
Sharon and Bob
for FVC-WR

A Response from our Government to the petition presented by Marwan Tabbara

The Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter has received a response to the petitions delivered to Kitchener South–Hespeler MP Marwan Tabbara. Signed by Mark Holland, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions (the Hon. Maryam Monsef), the letter gives assurances that the 2015 federal election will be the last one run with the first-past-the-post voting system, and that winner-take-all systems are outdated. We hope this means that only Proportional Representation systems will be under consideration, and not winner-take-all systems such as Alternative Vote (also known as Instant Runoff Voting, Preferential Ballot, and often incorrectly called Ranked Ballot).

Our thanks go to everyone who signed the petition, and the Members of Parliament who have presented those petitions to parliament. Special thanks go to Mr. Tabbara for forwarding the Government’s response.

Electoral Reform is an urgent issue; the Liberal Government should soon be announcing the Parliamentary Committee to investigate alternate voting systems (and other aspects of electoral reform). Download FVCPetitiontoHouseofCommons_2.pdf (PDF, 144 kBytes), sign it with nine of your best friends, then mail it to your Member of Parliament. Remember, letters to MPs do not require any postage! Or you can come to a Fair Vote Waterloo Discussion Night where we’ll have petitions available, along with other information on Fair Voting.

You can download the letter received by Fair Vote Waterloo as 20160204 Electoral system petition no. 421-00058 Government response (PDF file, 59 kBytes). The text of the letter is reproduced here:

Response to Petition

Prepare in English and French marking ‘Original Text’ or ‘Translation’

Petition No.: 421–00058

By: Mr. Tabbara (Kitchener South-Hespeler)

Date: February 4, 2016

Print Name of Signatory: Mark Holland

Response by the Minister of Democratic Institutions




Minister or Parliamentary Secretary


Electoral System

Original Text


The Government thanks the petitioners for their views on this important matter.

The petitioners are contributing to a public discourse that is vitally important to shaping the future of our electoral system. To maintain public confidence, the Government understands that Canadians expect greater inclusion, transparency, meaningful engagement and modernization from their democratic institutions.

To that end, the Government is committed to ensuring that 2015 was the last election under the first-past-the-post system. The winner-take-all system is outdated. As many advanced democracies around the world have concluded, other systems are better for ensuring that every vote counts. The government wants to restore integrity and fairness to the electoral system and ensure that this cornerstone of our democracy serves Canadians. This change must be built on our collective values of fairness, inclusiveness, gender equality, openness and mutual respect.

The Government will be working to establish a parliamentary committee that will be tasked to consult Canadians from coast to coast to coast and to thoroughly review a variety of reform options to bring our voting system into the 21st Century. Once the committee is formed, further information will be available concerning its consultation plans and the opportunities for Canadians to participate in the process.

The Government invites the petitioners, like all Canadians, to get involved and have their say as part of this exciting challenge and opportunity to strengthen our electoral system.

Page 1
20160204 Electoral system petition no. 421-00058 Government response-2_1
20160204 Electoral system petition no. 421-00058 Government response-3_1
20160204 Electoral system petition no. 421-00058 Government response-4_1

PR vs. AV Panel

Proportional Representation vs. Alternative Vote Poster (cc by FVC)vAVpanelPOSTER-final

Now that electoral reform is finally on the Canadian horizon, we’re all looking forward to the WRC Electoral System panel event: Proportional Representation vs. Alternative Vote  coming up in April!

Fair Vote Canada’s Dennis Pilon will be championing Proportional Representation while WLU’s Barry Kay will speak on behalf of the Alternative Vote system.  Find out what all the fuss is about!

The event poster (above) is licensed to share which means anyone interested in promoting the event (and/or electoral reform) is welcome to print and post as many as you like.  For a good quality 8½ x 11″ poster, download the largest size on Flickr  (or find other sizes here.)  Thanks!

This poster can be freely reproduced with attribution to Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter under a CC BYCreative Commons Attribution Only 4.0 International license.

Fair Vote Waterloo Met With Bryan May, MP For Cambridge

Hello FairVoting Friends,

On Monday afternoon, 29 February 2016, FVC-WR met with Bryan May, MP for Cambridge. We had a straight forward 45 minute discussion with him. He shared his concerns about some of the technical issues of organizing a new electoral system ie. another round of electoral boundary changes but agrees with the principle that all votes should be equal. Bryan was also clear that any change to our electoral system has to be a made in Canada solution.

Bryan is concerned about declining voter turnout and was interested in the evidence that illustrates great voter turnout in countries that use a proportional electoral system. We left him with a stack of reading material suitable for policymakers.

We would like to thank Bryan for a great discussion and his interest in an issue that shapes our democracy and Parliament.

Kind regards,
Sharon Sommerville
for FVC-WR

Meeting with Bryan May

Meeting with Bryan May, MP for Cambridge on Monday, 29 February 2016. Clockwise from left: Shannon Adshade, Bob Jonkman, Matt Foster, Bryan May, Sharon Sommerville.

Picture taken by Laurel L. Russwurm and used under a CC-BYCC BY license.