This is urgent as the deadline is very soon! And it only recently came to my attention.
The Legislative Assembly of Alberta Select Special Ethics and Accountability Committee would like to hear from you on “… how provincial elections are run …” (among other things) which could result in changes to the Elections Act and other legislation. The committee web site at assembly.ab.ca/committees/ethicsandaccountability has more information.
Submissions will be accepted until Friday February 26, 2016.
Now is the time to express your thoughts succinctly and forcefully about changing our electoral system from the undemocratic majoritarian or ‘First Past the Post’ system to a proportional representation system which would make every vote count equally, and produce a legislature which reflected the popular vote in the province; no more ‘false majorities’. The new electoral system should be selected by the people of Alberta, not the political parties and legislators, through a comprehensive and wide-ranging public education and information system. There are several methods that could be used to introduce proportional representation to Alberta.
Submissions should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
or mailed to Select Special Ethics and Accountability Committee, third floor, 9820 – 107 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 1E7
The following press release was just sent to the Calgary media (lightly edited for this publication):
For Immediate Release
Who Should I Vote For?
Seventy per cent of Canadians want to see proportional representation (PR). Many candidates support electoral reform and the introduction of PR. A majority of MPs (170) could ensure the next scheduled general election (in 2019) is conducted under PR.
Fair Vote Canada strongly encourages PR as a better way to elect MPs (or MLAs or municipal councillors) than our present pluralitarian system which is commonly known as Winner Take All (WTA) or First-Past-the-Post (FPTP).
Fair Vote Canada and Fair Vote Calgary have been finding out where parties and candidates stand on PR. Results are encouraging and in keeping with polls and reports of electoral commissions conducted over the last few years. In Calgary 2015 all-candidate forums voters are indicating through applause that they want reform and PR.
Fair Vote Canada has developed a Canada-wide listing of candidates who have responded to a questionnaire about ‘Where They Stand’ on PR; see Fair Vote Canada’s web site.
Fair Vote Calgary has done a similar exercise focussing on Alberta candidates south of Red Deer. The candidates and parties which have declared support for PR are shown here.
Further details of all local candidates (where their position is known) are shown in a comprehensive table you can download here: S AB Fed Electoral Districts 2015 10 05. Voters are encouraged to check out the information referenced above before choosing their candidate.
Fair Vote recommends in this election that each of us should vote for a candidate who when elected will work to introduce PR. Basically, this means a Green Party or New Democratic Party candidate.
In some electoral districts it may be preferable to vote strategically for an alternative candidate who attracts enough votes and supports PR, even though not necessarily the voter’s first choice.
Most important of all – Just Vote!
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For more Information:
Kelly Carmichael Executive Director, Fair Vote Canada
Mark Hambridge, Leader, Fair Vote Calgary Action Team. Phone: 403-239-5516
Fair Vote Canada strongly encourages proportional representation (PR) as a better way to elect MPs (or MLAs or municipal councillors) than our present pluralitarian system, more commonly known as Winner Take All (WTA) or First-Past-the-Post (FPTP). That sort of electoral system produces distorted results. In the 41st Canadian General Election in 2011 where only 61% of the electorate voted, 39% voted Conservative and won 54% of the seats in Parliament. When you have 54% of the seats, you have an absolute majority so 100% of the power. Sixty-one percent of the votes cast, including many Conservative votes, were wasted and served to elect no-one. Put another way, 23% of the electorate gave the government 100% of the power.
The Alberta general election produced a similar result in May 2015. Albertans voted 40.6% for the NDP which won 61% of the seats in the legislature and 100% of the power. Only 54.2% of electors actually voted, so 22% of the electorate gave the government 100% of the power. It is the voting system that is broken, not party politics at work, since the WTA or FPTP problem seems to apply to all elections.
Fair Vote Canada and Fair Vote Calgary have been trying to find out where parties and candidates stand on PR. The results are encouraging, and in keeping with the polls that have been conducted over the last few years – about 70% of Canadians want to see PR introduced to replace our WTA system, and many candidates support electoral reform and possibly the introduction of PR.
This graphic shows where the parties stand (click to enlarge image):
Fair Vote Canada has developed a Canada-wide listing of candidates who have responded to a questionnaire about PR and you can find it here.
Fair Vote Calgary has done a similar exercise focussing on candidates south of Red Deer. You can see here which candidates and parties have declared support for PR.
There are further details of all local candidates (where their position is known) in a table which you can download here.
So, in answer to the question ‘Who should I vote for’ the reasoning works like this:
• The greatest threat we have in Canada is to democracy itself which is under serious attack from our politicians. Since the 1970s politicians have progressively been taking more and more power from the people and adding it to the party leadership and government, particularly recently to the unelected and not-answerable-to-Parliament Prime Minister’s Office.
• The first step to correct this issue is to now elect MPs who have committed to introduce PR so that every vote counts toward electing an MP. In future, membership of the House of Commons would reflect the popular vote. Decisions by Parliament should reflect the wishes of the electorate. (There’s much more work to do to achieve that goal, outside the scope of the present election and Fair Vote’s mandate).
• In this election, each of us should vote for a candidate who if (no, when!) elected will work to introduce PR. A majority of MPs (170) could ensure PR is introduced by the next scheduled general election in 2019.
• Check out the information referenced above and make your candidate choice, or perhaps select alternative candidates you might vote for.
• In some electoral districts, it may be preferable to vote strategically for a candidate who is likely to win if he or she attracts enough votes and who supports PR but is not necessarily your first choice.
Most important of all – Just Vote!
Don’t be among the 40% of the electorate that stays away from the ballot box.
Make sure you are registered to vote, don’t find out at the last minute you need extra information under the new identification requirements. If you are registered to vote, you should by now have received a Voter’s Card with the information you need. If you haven’t, contact your local Elections Canada office as soon as possible. You can find it’s address on their web site.
There’s little to no excuse not to vote – you can go now to the Elections Canada office in your electoral district (the address is on your voter’s card), until 6.00 p.m. on Tuesday 13 October.
You can go to an advance poll (the days, place and opening times are on your voter’s card).
You can even go to your polling station on Election Day, Monday 19 October (the address is on your voter’s card – but also check Elections Canada’s web site).
Please join us for our inaugural candidate forum of the Nose Hill riding organized by Just Vote Youth!!
Where? Beddington Heights Community Arts Centre.
When? Thursday October 8th 7:30 PM – That’s Today!
Who? This forum is designed to engage the youth and to encourage them to get involved and get informed. Questions will be chosen by young voters on issues most important to them.
Candidates confirmed for attendance:
Faizan Butt – Democratic Advancement Party
Edward Gao – Libertarian Party
Bruce Kaufman – New Democratic Party
Robert Prcic – Liberal Party
Laurie Scheer – Green Party
Michelle Rempel (Conservative) has declared her interest in attending but hasn’t confirmed yet.
NOTE: THIS EVENT IS NOT EXCLUSIVE TO RESIDENTS OF THE SPECIFIC RIDING OR YOUTH ONLY. ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE.
We encourage all youth to bring your questions for this interactive forum!
See you there!
Just Vote Calgary Youth
A nearly-complete, ever-changing listing of candidates in southern Alberta who support PR can be found here.
Now that nominations are complete and Elections Canada have confirmed the candidate lists in each electoral district, there will be little change. Check back for updates – most recently Friday 2015 10 05.
All-Candidate Meetings at which Fair Vote Calgary will be present:
• Calgary Signal Hill, Monday 28 September, at Rosscarrock Community Association, 4411 10 Avenue SW Calgary. Set up from 6.00 p.m., doors open at 6.30 pm., meeting from 7.00 p.m. Organised by Rosscarrock Community Association.
• Calgary Skyview, Tuesday 29 September, at Castleridge Falconridge Community Association, 95 Falshire Drive NE Calgary. Set up at 6.00 p.m., Meet and Greet from 6.30 p.m., Program 7.00 to 9.00 p.m. Organised by Calgary Leadership Forum.
• Calgary Shepard, Wednesday 30 September, at Jayman Theastre, 3132 118 Avenue SE, Calgary. Set up at 6.00 p.m., Meet and Greet from 6.30 p.m., Program 7.00 to 9.00 p.m. Organised by Calgary Leadership Forum.
Calgary Confederation, Sunday 4 October, at St. Thomas United Church, 100 Hawkwood Blvd. NW, Calgary. Set up at 2.00, doors open ~2.30. meeting from 3.00 to 5.00 p.m. Organised by Just Vote Calgary.
Conversation with your local candidates – Become more informed – then decide. 6.00 – 8.00 p.m., September 30, 2015. Marlborough Park Community Association, 6021 Madigan Drive SE Calgary. 5.30 p.m. Light supper available. Your Vote – Your Voice. Download the poster from conversation with candidates (2)
You may have seen or heard something about this strange situation on the news on Friday 18 September in Calgary. I heard an interview with Nicolas on the CBC’s Eyeopener and it is still here their site. He has also been featured in other media.
Nicolas Duchastel de Montrouge is a Canadian Citizen, born in Montréal PQ who is at present living in Seattle, Washington, USA. He has lived outside Canada for more than five years; as the result of a court ruling earlier this year he is not permitted to vote anywhere in Canada in the coming election (together with about 1.4 million Canadian expatriates who are nevertheless guaranteed the right to vote in the Canadian Constitution!) There’s more about this on Elections Canada’s Voting from Abroad page.
However, he is permitted to be a candidate for election to Parliament as an MP! He is urgently seeking 100 electors who live in Calgary Heritage to sign his nomination papers so that he can file them and be a candidate on the same ballot as Messrs. Harper, Christie, Miles and Burgener.
Can you help? If so, please:
Check the map to ensure you live in Calgary Heritage. It is not the same as the electoral district boundaries for the last general election.
Check by entering your postcode in Elections Canada’s web site tool.
Go to Nicolas’ web site and follow the directions on the HOW TO HELP page. However, do NOT email the form in – it must be physically delivered very soon to the Returning Officer. Contact email@example.com for further directions as to how to get the signed form to her.
It is urgent to get this moving! Please help if you can, to redress this farcical, typically Canadian! electoral situation. You could discuss it with your local candidates, and ensure the situation gets resolved after the election during the next Parliament. Nicolas does not want your vote in the election – just help him get on the ballot. There is already enough ‘vote splitting’ and strategic voting under FPTP!
Oh, and Nicolas is indeed a firm believer in proportional representation, of course!
The detailed Unofficial Results from Elections Alberta look like this.
A summary of the results can be seen and downloaded in the Calgary Foothills Results Table including information about the candidates’ support for proportional representation.
Of 32,212 electors enumerated by Elections Alberta, only 12,717 voted (39.48%).
The new member of the legislature was elected by 38.35% of 39.48% of the voters. The successful candidate has 38.35% of the popular vote, so 61.65% of the votes were wasted; those voters are unrepresented in the legislature, as are those who chose not to mark a ballot.
Edited later: As a correspondent observed ‘So he was elected by about 15% of the electorate’ and another wrote ‘I think it’s fair to say he represents the people who actually voted for him, so we can state that he represents 15.14%. No need to speculate on what they would have voted – they chose to exclude themselves from the conversation’.
Elections Alberta’s slogan ‘A Mark that Matters’ rings somewhat hollow.
One can only speculate on how the result might have differed with a system which encouraged people to vote ‘for’ a candidate because they were casting effective votes, instead of strategically ‘against’ those they didn’t want.
If this had been a ‘referendum’ on electoral reform, 92.24% voted to stay with the tired old system we know, rather than take a step forward to a modern electoral system. Of course most voters strategically consider other factors before electoral reform, so these results are only a sad reflection on the inadequacies of the present electoral system.
Fair Vote Calgary has been vigorously trying to determine the positions of the candidates on proportional representation (PR). Janet Keeping, candidate and Leader, Alberta Green Party and Mark Taylor, candidate, Alberta Party, are the only candidates who actively support PR. In choosing for whom to vote, if PR is their over-riding concern Calgary-Foothills electors are advised to select one of these candidates . For more about the candidates and party policies, see this page.
Last night the Calgary Leadership Forum sponsored an all-candidates debate and forum for the Calgary-Foothills by-election at Foothills Alliance Church in Edgemont. The six party-affiliated candidates were present, Antoni Grochowski (Independent) was absent. The event was reported in the Herald and on CBC and CTV last night.
Fair Vote Calgary was also present to explain Fair Voting and Proportional representation at our table in the lobby. A number of people were interested and took tabloids, business cards and promised to learn more. Some of the interested people mentioned that they had used PR in other countries before coming to Canada. We were able to explain that any PR system used in Canada would be designed here, for use here, and the poor experiences of the often quoted examples of why PR is ‘bad’ were relevant only to that country and were not representative of PR everywhere. Some of the table visitors signed the Declaration of Voters’ Rights or promised to do so on line. A few conservative-oriented people said they prefer the present FPTP voting method, including the Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, Ric McIver.
Fair Vote Calgary’s web site shows where – or if! – the candidates stand on PR; there’s more information here, which will be updated as we find out more.
If you are a Calgary-Foothills Voter, please make sure you get out to vote either at the Advance Polls or on Election Day. More information at Elections Alberta’s web site.