Declaration of Voter's Rights

Sunday, April 21, 2013

"Help Make 2015 Canada's Last Unfair Election" FVC Video Contest

A mind, like a book, works best when it is open.  A recent Environics poll by LeadNow asked "Some people favor bringing in a form of proportional representation. This means that the total number of seats held by each party in Parliament would be roughly equivalent to their percentage of the national popular vote. Would you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose moving towards a system of proportional representation in Canadian elections?"  Even with this brief description of proportional representation, it appears Canadian minds are open. 

Fair Vote Canada (FVC) believes opening minds through education is critical.  As well as print and visual resources for teachers and the public, it is looking to leverage the power of video.  In particular, it is looking for a video that will go viral—a video that will inspire action and unite Canadians.  After the deadline of May 30, the FVC YouTube channel will share the videos and start the process of voting for the Viewer's Choice Award.  There is also the Judged Panel Award.   If you are a videographer or know one, here is a chance:
to help make 2015 the last unfair election in Canada.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Saskatchewan Leads

On March 8, this Saskatchewan NDP resolution was passed unanimously at their 2013 convention, "WHEREAS there is little democracy in our current electoral system, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NDP work towards establishing a transparent proportional electoral system."  John Bidochka adds, "This resolution was passed unanimously by delegates from all 58 provincial constituencies across Saskatchewan. This represents the first time such a resolution has passed at the provincial level, effectively ending a longstanding contradiction between federal and provincial branches of the NDP."

While Fair Vote Canada is non-partisan, the Saskatchewan Chapter applauds the Saskatchewan's NDP recognition that there is "little democracy" in our first-past-the-post system and we encourage their willingness to direct energy to a "transparent proportional electoral system".

When asked, Ryan Meili, who was in the NDP leadership race, said, "I am supportive of moving toward a democratic system that is more representative of diverse views, be it proportional representation, preferential balloting, or another mechanism. The current winner-take-all system leads to democratic exclusion and lopsided decision-making."

In the book, Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell identified "The Law of the Few"; to tip an idea you do not need to convince the masses, you need only connect with the special few who are connected to the masses.
Gladwell examined Milgram's famous "Six Degrees of Separation" experiment and concluded, "Six degrees of separation doesn't mean that everyone is linked to everyone else in just six steps.  It means a very small number of people are linked to everyone else in a few steps, and the rest of us are linked to the world through those special few."

While Gladwell's Law appears true, proportional representation may be easier to tip than other ideas.  The NDP unanimous vote supports this hypothesis.  People sense that first-past-the-post offers "little democracy" and immediately recognize that proportional representation offers "big democracy".  So whether talking to the masses or the few, every opened mind counts.