Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fair Vote Canada August 2012 Newsletter

Fair Vote Canada Newsletter

August 7, 2012

In this issue:

  • Canada Day Action launches petition campaign
  • Democracy Week is coming again, September 9 - 15!
  • Veterans for Fair Voting

 Canada Day Action launches petition campaign

Fair Vote Canada has established local Action Teams across the country to help volunteers work together to take action for democratic reform. The first action was to launch our formal petition campaign on Canada Day. Over 175 volunteers in 92 ridings began collecting signatures on our petition on July 1, and the signatures have been pouring in to our office!

These signatures will be presented to MPs across the country, who will be asked to stand up and present our petition in Parliament. Hundreds of MPs in every part of Canada are about to find out that people who live and vote in their riding care about the state of our democracy and are demanding a new, modern, fair, proportional voting system!

If you would like to help gather signatures on our petition, you can download and print off a copy here: Fair Electoral Representation: Petition to the House of Commons.

Note that the formal petition requires actual handwritten signatures, but you can also still sign our Declaration of Voters’ Rights online on our Web site: Declaration of Voters' Rights.

Democracy Week is coming again, September 9 - 15!

Last year, Fair Vote Canada announced the first ever Democracy Week in Canada, coinciding with the International Day of Democracy on September 15. We will hold the second annual Democracy Week this year from September 9 to 15. Our chapters and action teams across the country will be organizing a range of non-partisan events in conjunction with other organizations, educating and engaging Canadians to find out more about how our democratic institutions work, and how they don’t work.

We will be arranging forums, speakers, films, and town halls, and making the point that democracy is not something that happens to us—it is something we do together!

If you would like to help out with Democracy Week activities in your area, or if you are part of a group that would like to work together with Fair Vote Canada on Democracy Week, contact us at DemocracyWeek@FairVote.Ca.

Veterans for Fair Voting

Fair Vote Canada is looking for a few warriors. We are asking all veterans who have ever fought for our democracy to step forward once more. We want you to help make Canada a country that truly respects the democratic process and the sacrifices you and your comrades in arms have already made for this nation.

Without an overhaul or retrofit, military equipment becomes less effective over time and begins to break down. Our democratic institutions too, need to be overhauled from time to time.  Canada is one of the world’s oldest democracies. We don’t send our soldiers into battle on horses any more, but we are still using a medieval voting system to choose our representatives.

Most of us vote for candidates who don’t get elected. Most MPs ‘represent’ mostly people who voted against them. Parties with less than 40% of the votes win ‘majority’ governments and have 100% of the power. Sometimes the party with the most votes loses the election!

Political parties are out of touch. They don’t develop policies for all Canadians, but play to their narrow support base. The rest of us don’t matter, because our votes don’t make a difference. Party discipline is more and more rigid. Politicians represent their party instead of their constituents. Parliament doesn’t matter, because it can’t hold government accountable. Ordinary MPs are ‘nobodies’.

Canadians understand that they are not being represented by our present system. Our democracy seems to not matter anymore—many take it for granted, or even worse, ignore it altogether. Canadian participation in elections is already at an all-time low and is getting worse at almost every new election.

But voting is a duty. Canadian men and women in uniform sacrificed their bodies, their sanity, even their lives for our democracy. Voting says that those lives and those sacrifices do matter.

Fair Vote Canada needs your help to renew our democratic system and to help renew Canada. You have fought for this country before—can we enlist your aid once again for a battle for new Canada?

Would your group like to hear a speaker from Fair Vote Canada who can answer your questions about proportional representation? Contact Rod Morley now at Veterans@FairVote.Ca.

Fair Vote Canada is a multi-partisan citizens’ movement to change the voting system in Canada. Our work is supported almost entirely by the generosity of individual donors like you. Please consider making a donation, or better yet, becoming a monthly donor: Support Fair Vote Canada! 

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