Welcome to the Summer of Electoral Reform!!
We know that summer is a very special time in Canada and it’s hard to focus on politics but we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring in voting changes that will fix Canada’s democratic deficit. We need your help.
Please put ‘Electoral Reform’ on your summer-to-do list!!
The Government is embarking on a summer of consultation with several ways you can participate.
Your participation is paramount to achieving the most democratic outcome. Please print out this information so you can decide the best way to participate. You can do one event or all of the events.
FIRST: IMPORTANT INFO ON THE COMMITTEE’S GUIDING PRINCIPLES AND HOW THEY FIT WITH OUR VALUES!
The Special Electoral Reform Committee was created around guiding principles and the various venues for consultation will use these principles as a framework for developing a new electoral system. The good news is that our values centred on Voter Equality and proportional representation feed into these five principles:
- Effectiveness and legitimacy
- Voter engagement
- Accessibility and inclusiveness
- Local representation
Fair Vote Canada and its allies want the Government to recognize that under our current system, all voters are not equal. Any new electoral system must address our democratic deficit and make changes that reflect Canadian values where all voters are equal and all votes count.
Voters are not equal.
- Voter intention is not respected
- Our voting system exacerbates antagonisms between regions
- Voters are divided between winners and losers (52% ineffective votes in 2015)
- A minority of Voters can construct a Parliamentary Majority
- Voters in swing ridings have more power than voters in strongholds
- The voting system increases gains for one party while it decreases gains for others.
To correct voter inequality, every vote must count equally. The only way to do that is through some form of proportional representation.
Here are ways you can engage with the Government’s Community Consultations on Electoral Reform.
Help us tell the Government that we want equal and effective votes. You can find information on the Government’s plan here: Canada.ca/Democracy
Minister Monsef has asked MPs to hold townhalls across the Country! We need to get as many people out to the townhalls as possible.
You can see a list of all of the townhalls & electoral reform events here: list of events about electoral reform
Additional information to supplement this document may be found: canada.ca/democracy.
If you have signed Fair Vote Canada’s Declaration of Voters’ Rights (www.fairvote.ca/declaration), we will send you information on townhalls in your community. Otherwise, check the Events Calendar on the Democratic Reform website regularly: https://www.canada.ca/…/attend-a-canadian-federal-electoral…
Send us feedback!! If you hear about any new events or attend an event, send us a report. Let us know how many people attended the event? Was there strong support for PR? Were there any experts present?
Send your reports to MPreports@fairvote.ca
ENGAGE WITH THE ELECTORAL REFORM COMMITTEE: #ERRE #Q
There are several ways to interact with the Special Committee on Electoral Reform.
You can join the conversation on Twitter or submit a Brief with a request to present to the Committee – or do both!
Watch the Committee live on the internet: CPAC.ca
Help us on Twitter! We need as many people as possible on Twitter!!
Canadian Journalists who write about electoral reform are monitoring the discussion. To date, the online Twitter conversation has been dominated by opposition voices. We need your help! Please take a little bit of time to join the conversation.
- The Committee members will monitor Twitter (live time) for comments and questions from Canadians. Use these hashtags to speak directly to the Committee: #ERRE #Q and add #voterequality to remind them why we’re here!
- Members may relay these questions to the witnesses in real time.
I will send out regular reminders about upcoming Committee Meetings with a short overview of the Experts and some suggested questions to tweet to the Committee. Committee Members will be monitoring the Twitter hashtags: #ERRE #Q.
This link will take you to the Government’s page on engaging with the Committee.
Please send them your questions and tweet to them often.
If you are new to Twitter and would like information to join the conversation, please send me an email and we will help you open an account and show you how it works: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Electoral Reform Committee is required to report back to the House of Commons by December 1st!
SUBMIT A BRIEF TO THE COMMITTEE:
Canadians who choose to submit a brief to the Committee must meet the following criteria/conditions:
- One (1) brief can be submitted per person;
- Briefs must not exceed 3,000 words (including the summary page and footnotes);
- Briefs that are longer than 1,500 words must be accompanied by a summary; It is recommended that within the brief the author present a list of recommendations and their relationship with the principles set out in the motion adopted by the House of Commons on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, outlining the mandate of the Committee.
Briefs may be sent to the Committee by email (ERRE@parl.gc.ca) or by using [this link] https://survey-sondage-hoc.parl.gc.ca/n/ERRESubmitBrief.aspx?c=en-CA&studyId=9011649&study=Committee%20Business
The deadline to submit briefs and requests to appear before the Committee must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Friday, October 7, 2016.
HOST AN ELECTORAL REFORM CONVERSATION IN YOUR COMMUNITY!
Minister Monsef has announced additional resources to encourage community dialogue about electoral reform. She is encouraging all Canadians to hold informal meetings and to submit a report. This is a great opportunity for supporters of fair voting.
More information about hosting an electoral reform dialogue can be found at canada.ca/electoral-reform-dialogue
Fair Vote Canada will have more details on organizing community dialogues soon!
Round-up of Resources:
Add your event to the Government’s Calendar or join one of the events on the website!
- List of events about electoral reform
- Guidance on how to Host a Canadian electoral reform dialogue in your community including Sample template for submitting the results of your Canadian federal electoral reform event to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform
- A variety of learning materials
- Potential dialogue topics
- Government’s plan here: Canada.ca/Democracy
- Government’s page on engaging with the Committee
Send us a report on the townhall you have heard about or attended: MPreports@fairvote.ca
Thank you for taking a break from your summer festivities to strengthen Canada’s democracy!
We’re getting closer to the finish line!
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