Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2016/ Electoral Reform Events

Electoral Reform Events

I have done a terrible job of updating the How to Win PR entry like I promised, but there is a lot of stuff happening around federal electoral reform. I wrote the following summary of events for the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region mailing list, but they didn't use it, and wrote something better. Regardless, I am going to reproduce what I wrote here, because it is basically the update I have been intending to write.

If you are not local a bunch of this will be boring, but the "Electoral Reform Submissions" section is still relevant, and you can pressure your MP to hold a town hall in your area.

If you are local then I encourage you to attend some of these events, and to publicize them widely. The Region of Waterloo library information sessions are especially precarious right now; if they get too few signups they may cancel the events.

There is a lot to tell you about, so let's get to it.

Sept 14: Minister Monsef Consultation

For several months four of our five local MPs have been promising to hold a joint town hall on electoral reform. There were rumours that Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef would be in attendance.

The good news is that this town hall may be happening: Kitchener-Waterloo is listed as a stop in Minister Monsef's "electoral reform community dialogue" tour, as listed here:

The bad news is that other than the date (Wednesday, Sept 14) the date and time of Minister Monsef's consultation have not been released. The other bad news is that Monsef is also slated to hold a consultation in Toronto the same day, so the timing of the local consultation may not be ideal for us. The other other bad news is that September 14 is less than two weeks away! Keep September 14 open on your social calendars. (UPDATE: The other news is that the consultation may be in Cambridge, even though the location is listed as Kitchener-Waterloo on the website.)

Incidentally, the fifth local MP Harold Albrecht will not be holding a town hall consultation for his constituents. Supposedly Kitchener-Conestoga residents will receive (or have received) a survey about the issue. We might draw some inferences on his approach from his website:

Sept 8: Kitchener Public Library Information Session

In other imminent news, the Kitchener Public Library has graciously agreed to host a public information session on electoral reform. Byron Weber Becker will explain different voting systems -- proportional and not -- that the electoral reform committee might consider for its recommendations. He will also discuss the federal electoral reform process.

If you would like to strengthen your understanding of electoral reform, this is a great introductory presentation to attend. Better yet, this is a great presentation to invite your friends, neighbours and family to, since many of them probably know much less about electoral reform than you do.

The presentation will be held on Thursday, September 8 from 7:00-8:30pm at the library's Central branch at 85 Queen Street North.

The library requests that you register for the event here: .

However, they have suggested that gatecrashers will still be allowed in if there is sufficient space.

Sept 21, 28, 29: Region of Waterloo Library Information Sessions

The KPL are not the only gracious libraries in the region. The Region of Waterloo will also be hosting public information sessions on electoral reform. Even more exciting is that these events will be held in several of the townships, extending outreach to parts of the Region where people feel neglected:

Wed, Sept 21: Elmira Branch, 6:30-8:00pm . Register:

Wed, Sept 28: New Hamburg Branch, 6:30-8:00pm Register:

Thurs, Sept 29: Ayr Branch, 6:30-8:00pm Register:

Again, the Region of Waterloo library requests people register for these events. It is more important to register for the township information sessions because so far registrations have been low.

We could also use a lot of help in getting the word out about these events. Can you help? If so please contact us.

Sept 17: Green Party Community Dialogue

Local members of the Green Party of Canada are organizing a rally and consultation for Saturday, Sept 17. It will take place at 3pm in front of Kitchener City Hall. Results of these consultations will be sent to the federal committee on electoral reform. You do not need to be a member of the Green Party to participate.

See for additional information.

Tuesdays: Fair Vote Roundtable Consultations

Each Tuesday until October 4, Fair Vote Canada and LeadNow are holding community dialogues on electoral reform. Once again, notes from these sessions are compiled and sent to the federal committee.

These consultations are being held at the Queen Street Commons, 43 Queen Street S, Kitchener. They run from 6:30-9:00pm.

Sept 28: Jean-Pierre Kingsley Presentation

Jean-Pierre Kingsley served as Canada's chief electoral officer from 1990 to 2007. He subsequently served as president and CEO of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in Washington, DC. Kingsley is coming to Kitchener-Waterloo to speak about electoral reform.

This presentation will be held at the central branch of the Kitchener Public Library, from 7:00-8:30pm, on Wed, Sept 28. (Yes, the date conflicts with the New Hamburg information session, which is a real shame.)

Before Oct 7: Electoral Reform Submissions

And of course, you can submit feedback to the government yourself. The main landing page for the federal government's electoral reform initiative is here:

Linked from this page ("Make a Submission") are instructions for submitting a brief to the government, requesting to appear before the committee (!), or filling out a survey to share your opinions and thoughts about electoral reform. The deadline for participating is October 7.

After the submission deadline, the committee will prepare a report for Minister Monsef, to be delivered for December 1. Based on that, we are promised that the government will write legislation around electoral reform.

Other Ways to Get Involved

As you can tell, the chapter is busy this month, and we can use extra hands. There are even more things going on that we have not mentioned!

We would dearly love some people who can help with publicity (both online and in person), but there are many other ways to help as well: staffing booths, facilitating discussions, and responding to misleading information that is being spread around. This is the time to help! There will be work to be done after October 7, but this is our opportunity for public input.

LeadNow is also active in our community. You can help them out by signing up for their local organizing team: .

If you can get together a small group of people (friends, family, a service club, people from your place of worship, coworkers, your neighbourhood association/apartment complex/housing co-op, ...) who would like to discuss electoral reform and submit your feedback to the federal committee on electoral reform, Fair Vote Canada would like to help. We can share materials and help facilitate your group's submission. Please contact us to let us know you are interested. But be quick!

Wow. You made it to the bottom of this omnibus. Good for you! Let's make proportional representation happen!