Declaration of Voter's Rights

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fair Vote AGM

The Fair Vote Canada Annual General meeting was held at Simon Fraser’s Downtown campus Saturday April 18th. The initial part of the agenda reviewed Fair Vote Canada’s history, Treasurer tabled the Financial Statement and the newly elected members of the National Council were introduced.

The main focus of the meeting was the current campaign to win the hearts and minds of British Columbians and to win the referendum which is 24 days away.

The B.C. referendum is the second attempt to let the people of B.C. to choose a Single Transferable Vote (STV) system instead of the current First Past the Post method of choosing a government. The last time this referendum was held a majority of voters in all but two riding choose STV but the threshold was set at 60%. The vote was close but not quite there. It is ironic that governments have been swept to power in B.C. with just over 39% of the popular vote but to change that system the threshold is much higher.

Most of the morning was taken up with a panel discussion with participants Rick Anderson, Rafe Mair, Jim Harris and Judy Rebick. Rick Anderson urged participants to continue the fight. He talked about what he called the democratic deficit in Ottawa and reminded us that countries that have tried proportional representation have never chosen to go back to a first past the post system. They may fine tune the process but they never go back to the flawed older system.

Tricia Marwick, a Member of the Scottish Parliament, then told delegates about the tough fight they went through in Scotland to get local and regional elections held using a proportional represent system and how it has worked for them. They will clearly, never return to the old system.

The afternoon focused on the campaign to win the referendum in B.C. Fair Vote Canada has put a considerable effort into helping the B.C.- STV win the vote. FVC Director Larry Gordon will be working in Vancouver and the Campaign Co-Manager and other FVC members have also come to Vancouver to lend their efforts to the cause. Their message that first past the post gives you government but does not deliver democracy resonates well with B.C. voters but no matter what the 60% threshold is daunting.

1 comment :

  1. It's great that you were at Fair Vote Canada's AGM. I wish I could have been there.

    Please go to my blogsite and vote for your favourite pizza using STV and FPTP. Ten pizzas are running for three positions. I made three FPTP ridings with three parties running a candidate in each. The three parties are the Meat Lovers, Vegetarians, and Cheese Plus. One plain ole independent cheese pizza is running in one of the FPTP ridings. Vote now! Get your imaginary pizzas on May 12.