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Electoral Reform: How to Help

The electoral reform train is rolling. By December 1 an all-party committee of federal MPs will recommend (or not) reforms to our electoral system. Personally, I am grumbly about several aspects of this process, but I will save that for other entries. In this entry I would like to provide information about how you can get involved, and some background information about what has happened so far.

If you have some interest in seeing electoral reform be successful then please consider getting involved to the extent you are willing and able.

I will attempt to keep this page updated, but I am not following the day-to-day news of the electoral reform process that closely.

Participate in the Process

Work With an Advocacy Organization

There are a number of groups in town which have some interest in proportional representation. Even if you do not know much about proportional representation yourself, you can (and should!) participate. You will learn a lot along the way.


Apparently the NDP is canvassing houses and distributing literature in support of proportional representation. I do not know much more than this, but if you are interested then you can contact the local NDP on their website:

Fair Vote Canada

The Waterloo Region Chapter of Fair Vote Canada is pretty active, and is working hard on influencing politicians and holding information sessions. Their main website is . (Disclaimer: I am not a member of FVC any more but I did help found this chapter, and I work with the group from time to time). The main contacts are Sharon Sommerville and Bob Jonkman.

They can use help with the following:

The chapter has announcement and discussion email lists. Joining the announcement list is probably the easiest way to stay on top of local news and volunteer callouts.

The national chapter of Fair Vote Canada is also quite active. They would like your participation in the following ways:


LeadNow has picked up proportional representation as one of their primary campaigns. They are also quite active locally.

Locally, they seem to be most interested in canvassing people door to door. They also hold some information sessions and staff booths at festivals.

To get on their local mailing list, go to their recruitment page and fill out the form. The main contact is Sylvie Spraakman.

Nationally, LeadNow is also active. They woul like you to do the following:

Educate Yourself

It is easy to get lost in the weeds when it comes to electoral reform. But if only voting nerds express an interest in this issue then we are sunk. If you drum up interest in the issue by educating yourself (and others!) then this initiative is more likely to succeed.

Sidebar: The Story So Far

During last year's federal election the Liberals made the following promise:

We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.

We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting.

The committee will deliver its recommendations to Parliament. Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.

It appears that the Liberals are keeping this promise, in word if not in spirit. At this point:

This means that the committee will be doing a lot of its work during the summer, when people are not paying attention.