[EM] Fair Vote Canada Newsletter Mar. 28, 2002

DEMOREP1 at aol.com DEMOREP1 at aol.com
Thu Mar 28 17:11:35 PST 2002

D- Some election reform news from Canada.

Folks may wish to subscribe to the newsletter via the FVC website at the 
FVC has discussion boards also.

Fair Vote Canada
March 28, 2002


1) Prominent Canadians Appointed to National Advisory Council
2) Agenda Announced for General Meeting
3) 17 Candidates Running for National Council
4) Quebec Appoints Minister of Electoral Reform
5) Private Member’s Bill on PR Introduced in Alberta
6) Chapter Updates
7) Request for Participants in Research Study
8) San Francisco and Vermont Back Instant Runoff Voting
1) Prominent Canadians Appointed to National Advisory Council

Fair Vote Canada is pleased to announce the creation of the National 
Advisory Council comprised of prominent Canadians from political, 
social and cultural circles.  

The council's task is to provide advice, assist with strategy and 
contacts, and publicly support Fair Vote Canada.  

The inclusion of current and former MPs from all major, national parties 
along with academics, writers, and community leaders illustrates the 
non-partisan nature of FVC’s campaign.

The following people have been appointed to the council:

Hon. Lincoln Alexander  
Dr. Patricia Baird  
Maude Barlow  
Dr. Sylvia Bashevkin 
Carolyn Bennett, MP 
Pierre Berton 
Patrick Boyer 
Ed Broadbent 
June Callwood  
Mary Eberts  
Max Ferguson 
Dr. Margaret Fulton  
Dr. Phyllis Grosskurth 
Karen Kain
Dr. Vincent Lemieux 
Robin Mathews 
Dr. Henry Milner 
Lorne Nystrom, MP 
Bernard Ostry 
Dr. Sylvia Ostry 
Walter Pitman 
Judy Rebick 
Walter Robinson 
Dr. Norman Ruff 
Claude Ryan 
Rick Salutin 
Ted White, MP 
Hon. Lois Wilson

Short biographical notes of each member of the council are available 
by following the link from: 

2) Agenda Announced for General Meeting

Fair Vote Canada’s Annual General Meeting, to be held in the 
Parliament Buildings in Ottawa on April 26-27, promises to be an 
exciting time with engaging speakers, opportunities for discussion, and 
the announcement of the National Council election results.  

The meeting will begin Friday evening with speakers from the three 
provinces where the movement for voting reform is the most advanced. 
Speaking under the theme “Voting Reform Gains in the Provinces: An 
Activist Perspective” will be Nick Loenen of Fair Voting BC, André 
Larocque of the Mouvement pour une democratie nouvelle, and Harry 
Baglole of Every Vote Counts (Prince Edward Island).

On Saturday, there will be a report on the legal challenge of the 
constitutionality of the current voting system, reports from FVC 
chapters and caucuses, strategy sessions and FVC business. After 
the AGM adjourns at 5pm,Saturday, Ontario members and other 
interested people will be meeitng for one hour to talk about a proposal 
for a Fair Vote Ontario campaign.  

There is no charge for attending the meeting, although everyone 
planning to attend must register in advance to be permitted entrance to 
the Parliament Buildings. Lunch on Saturday costs $25.

Payment is by cheque only, payable to Fair Vote Canada. Mail to Fair 
Vote Canada, c/o #410 - 9707 110 Street, Edmonton, AB T5K 2L9. If 
you are not sending in a cheque, you may fax your registration to 482-

3) 17 Candidates Running for National Council

Seventeen candidates are running in the first election for Fair Vote 
Canada’s National Council. They are:
John Deverell
Troy Lanigan
Lisa Dale
Julian West
Blain Scott
Doug Bailie
Larry Gordon
Bruce Hallsor
Harvey Voogd
Christopher Billows
Nancy Peckford
Doris Anderson
J.W. (Bill) Campbell
Matt Gloyd
Nick Van der Graaf
Andre Larocque
Wayne Smith

Information about each candidate will be posted to the FVC website in 
early April. (Hard copies will be mailed to members without Internet 

All members in good standing as of February 26, 2002, are eligible to 
vote. Ballots will be sent out in early April and must be returned to 
FVC’s Toronto office by April 25.  

The election will fill all 15 seats on the National Council using a 
proportional system called the single transferable vote. Instructions on 
how to fill out the ballots and how they will be counted will be included
in the mail-out to eligible members.  

4) Quebec Appoints Minister of Electoral Reform

The government of Quebec now includes the new post of Minister for 
Electoral and Parliamentary Reform. Jean-Pierre Charbonneau received 
the job in a cabinet shuffle in late January.

Since then he has announced sweeping proposals that would not only 
introduce proportional representation but also change the relationship 
between the cabinet and the legislature. 

Charbonneau’s appointment came just after the announcement that a 
committee of MNAs would travel the province as a part of its study of 
Quebec’s voting system and options for reform.

At a press conference last week, Charbonneau said he would present 
a working paper in April providing more details on his reform plans.  

5) Private Member’s Bill on PR Introduced in Alberta

Raj Pannu, leader of the Alberta New Democrats, introduced a private 
members bill aimed at ensuring elections in Alberta are broadly 

The bill would create an Electoral Fairness Commission, comprised of 
members of the public appointed by the government and the 
opposition, which would hold public hearings and make 
recommendations on voting system reform. A referendum would then 
be held on the recommendations.  

The bill is expected to be debated in the legislature in May. It is 
available online at: 

<http://www.assembly.ab.ca/pro/bills/ba-bill.asp?SelectBill=209 >  

6) Chapter Updates
Following are the updates and contact information for Fair Vote Canada 
local chapters. Further information is available on the Chapters page of 
the FVC website.
-- Toronto -- Wayne Smith, Toronto at FairVoteCanada.org or 416-407-

The chapter organized a public education session on proportional 
representation in east Toronto on March 19, attracting an enthusiastic 
multi-partisan crowd. Larry Gordon, president of FVC, and Dennis 
Pilon, PhD student at York University, led the community forum. Local 
media covered the event. There were several requests for future 
speaking engagements and a number of people signed up as members 
of FVC.  

The Ontario New Democratic Party has taken a position strongly in 
favour of proportional representation, and has held public hearings in 
Thunder Bay, Ottawa and Toronto. At the session in Toronto on March 
23, chapter Chair Wayne Smith made a presentation on behalf of the 
chapter. Presentations were also made by Toronto chapter members 
Gregg Hill, John Deverell and Dennis Pilon.

The ONDP Task Force will also be holding hearings in London, 
Timmins and Hamilton.  

The chapter holds Business & Strategy meetings on the fourth 
Tuesday of the month, at 7:00 p.m. at 130 Carlton Street.  All 
committees meet, followed by an executive meeting. All members are 

-- National Capital Region -- Contact info at fairvotecanada.org.

Next meeting: May 13 at 7:00 p.m., PSAC building, Carlos room.

-- Peterborough and Area -- Mark Finnan, mwf at nexicom.net or (705) 
939-2556, or Raphael Thierrin, raphael at infoshaper.com or (705) 749-
9890. In Port Hope-Cobourg area contact Wilf Day, 
dayphope at on.aibn.com (905) 885-5456.

The chapter held a voting workshop on March 16 which was attended 
by people from across the political spectrum and which received 
significant media attention. The event sparked a lot of enthusiasm and 
energy, and helped create more FVC campaign organizers.  

A meeting of the interim executive will be held in early April. Any 
member is welcome to observe. The chapter’s first general meeting is 
being planned for May.  

-- Greater Vancouver -- Arn Keeling, vancouver at fairvotecanada.org.

The previously announced inaugural meeting has been postponed. A 
new date will be announced soon. 

-- Calgary -- Matt Emmett, fvc-calgary at emmett.ca.

The next meeting is on Monday, April 8th at 19:30.  For more 
information, please visit our website:  http://fvc.emmett.ca/

-- Edmonton -- Doug Bailie, doug.bailie at fairvotecanada.org.

The chapter’s founding meeting will be held on April 9 at 7 p.m. at 8421 
- 101 Avenue (please use the northeast entrance). The purpose of the 
meeting is to adopt a set of bylaws and elect the chapter’s executive. 
The meeting will include a video featuring comedian John Cleese 
talking about proportional representation.  

-- Victoria -- Bruce Hallsor, Hallsor at creaseharman.com.

The Victoria chapter will have its founding meeting on April 11, 7:30 
p.m., in the David Lam Auditorium, McLaren Building, on the University 
of  Victoria campus.  The leader of the BC Green Party, the leader of 
the BC NDP, and a BC Liberal MLA wil be there to speak in favour of 
electoral reform.  

-- Winnipeg -- Chris Billows, cpb at accidentaldesign.com.

--Saskatoon -- Jason Hanson, komrade at shaw.ca.

If you are interested in helping start a local chapter in your area, please
contact info at fairvotecanada.org or phone 416-410-4034. 

7) Request for Participants in Research Study

Fair Vote Canada asks you to consider the following request from June 

Dear fellow Fair Vote Canada members and supporters:
I am currently working on completing my Ed.D. at the Ontario 
Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto 
and I wonder if you would participate in a research study I am 
doing that I think will potentially be of benefit to you and to Fair 
Vote Canada?
The study overall is essentially about how people in online 
groups make decisions or reach consensus on a problem of a 
challenging public policy issue. In this case I am using the 
Canadian voting system reform as content.
Essentially, you need to have access to the Internet and basic 
email and surfing skills. That is, familiarity with using a 
browser such as Netscape or Internet Explorer. I am looking at 
a mix of people that reflects, as much as possible, the 
diversity of Canada.

My study should reflect as much as possible the diversity that is
Canada. I need more FVC members of all backgrounds including 
young people (20s, 30s,) women and minority group members if 

If you are interested in learning more, please contact me at 
jmacdonald at oise.utoronto.ca

8) San Francisco and Vermont Back Instant Runoff Voting

Voting reformers in the United States won two victories this month. 
San Franciscans voted 53 per cent in favour of adopting instant runoff 
voting for electing its most powerful elected leaders despite well-funded
opposition from backers of traditional "delayed" runoffs. A Vermont 
League of Women Voters proposal to use instant runoff voting for 
statewide elections swept nearly every town meeting debating the 

Instant runoff voting ensures candidates win single-seat offices with 
majority support. It accomplishes the goals of a traditional runoff 
election in one efficient round of voting. Voters indicate both their 
favorite and their runoff choices. If no candidate receives a 
majority of first choices, the weak candidates are eliminated and 
their supporters' votes are counted for their runoff choices. It 
contrasts with conventional plurality elections which allow a 
candidate to win without majority support and traditional runoff 
elections which require two separate elections.

Previously in San Francisco, if no candidate won a majority of votes on 
the first ballot, a second ballot was held some weeks later. In Vermont, 
if no candidate for the governorship won a majority of votes, the 
legislature elected the governor.  

For more information, visit the website of the Center for Voting and 
Democracy: www.fairvote.org.

FVC memberships are payable by cheque, VISA or Mastercard. 
Membership forms are available on the "Join Fair Vote" page of our 
website: http://www.fairvotecanada.org/eng/join/enter.html

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E-mail: info at fairvotecanada.org

Fair Vote Canada
26 Maryland Blvd. 
Toronto, ON 
M4C 5C9

Phone: 416-410-4034
FAX: 416-686-4929

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