Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fair Vote Canada October 2008 Newsletter

October 2008 / Octobre 2008

For the latest news on voting system reform, visit www.fairvote.ca.

Pour les dernières informations sur la réforme du système électoral, visitez le site Internet www.fairvote.ca/fr .

In this issue

  • Election 2008: let’s keep the pressure on - we need volunteers and donations!
  • OprhanVoters.ca and the Great Democracy Disaster Contest
  • FVC calls on Harper and Dion to support democratic voting
  • Dion muffs his pitch to 7.5 million orphan voters
  • Cincinnati, Ohio, will vote on STV

Election 2008: let’s keep the pressure on – we need volunteers and donations!

Some pundits and politicians just want us to go away, but the topic of electoral reform keeps bubbling up. The media coverage of vote-swapping and strategic voting initiatives is sparking extensive discussion of the core problem: the dysfunctional first-past-the-post system. We need to keep that discussion alive and growing, because the post-election environment may provide an opening for a federal electoral reform process.

If you can volunteer even a few hours between now and election day, contact us immediately! Check out our election campaign action page. Please download our campaign flyer: Why Don’t Politicians Listen? Photocopy a few dozen or a few hundred, and pass them around to friends and contacts. Those members and supporters in regions with an FVC chapter can also pick up the full-colour printed version from your chapter’s volunteer coordinator.

We need volunteers sending letters to the editor and posting to online forums and blogs, and people who can attend all-candidate meetings to hand out leaflets and ask questions. Use this form to volunteer.

Even if you can’t volunteer, a small donation can make a big difference. Every dollar counts in the fight to make every vote count.

OrphanVoters.ca and the Great Democracy Disaster Contest

Have you visited our special campaign site: OrphanVoters.ca and forwarded the link to your friends and contacts? If not, please do so today.

New: on the Taking Action page you can now download animated OrphanVoters.ca banners to put on your website or blog. Plus, sign up for the Orphan Voters of Canada and the Fair Vote Canada groups on Facebook.

Also, be sure to enter the Great Democracy Disaster Contest. We have cash prizes for those making the best predictions on the number of orphan voters, by province and nationally, that will be created by the October 14 election.

FVC calls on Harper and Dion to endorse democratic voting

On September 28, Fair Vote Canada issued an open letter to Stephen Harper and Stéphane Dion.

Dear Mr. Harper and Mr. Dion:

On behalf of all Canadians who want to believe in democracy, allow me to express my enormous frustration with this election campaign. The leaders of our two largest political parties are acting more like fear mongers than true leaders.

Stéphane Dion, you say Canadians must vote for the Liberal Party, or Stephen Harper, with a phony majority government, will ruin Canada as we know it. Stephen Harper, you say Canadians must vote for the Conservative Party, or Stéphane Dion as head of a phony majority Liberal government will ruin Canada as we know it.

Is Canada truly in such terrible danger, or are both of you simply avoiding the core question that any Canadian would ask: ‘Why should a leader and party without true majority voter support be allowed to seize command of Parliament and impose law and policy on all Canadians?’

[Complete text available here.]

Dion muffs his pitch to 7.5 million orphan voters

Stéphane Dion, trailing badly in election opinion polls, muffed a chance to woo 7.5 million orphan voters on CBC’s Cross Country Checkup on September 28.

The Liberal leader dodged a caller who asked for his position on election reform and proportional representation. Instead he touted another winner-take-all voting system which would continue to shut out all small-party voters and elect many more Liberals. [See FVC press release.]

Cincinnati to vote on STV system

In addition to voting for the President on November 4, voters in Cincinnati, Ohio, will decide whether to adopt the single transferable vote (STV) system for use in future municipal elections. The Cincinnati chapter of the NAACP, the largest American civil rights organization, collected the necessary signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

Cincinnati used STV from 1925 to 1955, which led to the election of the first racially mixed city councils. Unfortunately, backlash to the growth of American civil rights movement in the 1950s led to a referendum to bring back winner-take-all voting. If Cincinnati adopts STV, it will become the first major city in the US to do so in modern times. An STV win in Cincinnati would also provide a tremendous boost for the STV campaign in British Columbia.

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