8th. Fire Gathering was a three-day conference which took place on March 13-15, 2015.
The Prophecy of the 8th Fire:
“They will come to a fork in the road. One road will lead to Materialism and Destruction … for almost all living creatures … The other road will lead to a Spiritual Way upon which the Native People will be standing … This path will lead to the lighting of the 8th fire, a period of eternal peace, harmony and a “New Earth” where the destruction of the past will be healed.” — Anishnabe Prophecy.
Fair Vote Calgary took a vendors’ information table
Volunteers looked after the Fair Vote Calgary table and display, and most importantly, looked for signatures on the Declaration of Voters Rights, handed out information about Fair Vote Canada and Calgary, and explained the pressing need for Proportional Representation.
Fair Vote Calgary also presented a session and led a discussion on Electoral Reform on Saturday morning. This is the presentation prepared by Fair Vote Edmonton which can be downloaded from the Resources page.
Next year the 8th Fire Gathering will be held in Winnipeg, date TBD.
An email received from Wendy Bergerud in Victoria:
“Craig Scott was in Victoria on November 28, 2014 and made a presentation on electoral reform and their proposed [Mixed Member Proportional] MMP model. Some Victoria supporters of FVC paid to have his presentation video-taped. There were about 200 people in the audience and I was impressed with the quality of questions asked at the end of his presentation.
“We are hoping to have this presentation shown on our local Shaw community television.
“The link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px5I5oqJIsQ
“Stephane Dion says “A voting system is more than just a way of tallying votes. It sets the ground rules that have a profound influence, for better or worse, on voters’ choices, the behaviours of politicians and political parties, parliamentary proceedings and government operations.” (from http://ideefederale.ca/documents/Dion_ang.pdf )”
Craig Scott MP (NDP – Toronto-Danforth) presented the NDP proposal for MMP to an audience in Victoria and answered questions. The whole tape runs for nearly an hour, about half is a series of questions at the end. Well worth watching.
As you know, 70% of Canadians in several polls over many years have indicated their support for Proportional Representation (PR). This has been reinforced by the ten commissions across Canada that have studied the issue at the provincial and national level over the last 11 years and unanimously reported that we should introduce PR (More information here ) . However the politicians in power benefit (or hope to benefit at the next change of regime) from the present system of plurality/majority rule, so change doesn’t happen.
We have an opportunity to find which of our local political aspirants support PR and try to elect them in the coming by-elections on Monday 27 October 2014. This exercise will be repeated at the next national general election (probably October 2015) and at the next provincial general election, probably in 2016.
I have written to all the Calgary candidates listed below to determine their willingness to move toward PR. Voters in those electoral districts can be guided in their vote, to support those who will move to introduce PR to Alberta. As the candidates reply – if they reply – I’ll post the results in updates to this post. If you have an opportunity to raise the question with a candidate, please report the result back to email@example.com
Update on 2014 10 11 – no responses, except (unasked) I have been put on the mailing list for one of the parties.
Update #2 on 2014 10 17 – no responses; second request emailed to all candidates (except one independent).
Update #3 on 2014 10 17 – Alberta’s New Democrats (NDP) response received, see below at *4.
Update #4 on 2014 10 20 – Wildrose response received, see below at *6. Polly Knowlton Cockett (Green Party of Alberta) response received – see below under Calgary -Foothills.
Calgary – Elbow
Greg Clark – Alberta Party – This party, while articulating many changes to effect ‘democratic renewal’ does not mention proportional representation.*5
Gordon Dirks – Progressive Conservative – The PC Alberta Statement of Principles does not address PR or electoral reform.*2
Susan Wright – Liberal Party Alberta – “Alberta Liberals believe in … Fairness to Future Generations. We … are committed to … solutions that are based on … Social Progressiveness …” *3
Stephanie McLean – NDP Alberta – see below at *4
John Fletcher – Wild Rose Party – This party does not mention Proportional Representation on its web site, but see *6 below.
Calgary – Foothills
Michelle Glavine – Alberta Party – This party, while articulating many changes to effect ‘democratic renewal’ does not mention proportional representation.*5
Jim Prentice – Progressive Conservative – The PC Alberta Statement of Principles does not address PR or electoral reform.*2
Polly Knowlton Cockett – Green Party of Alberta – “Like all other Green Parties globally, the Green Party of Alberta supports electoral reform to introduce proportional representation in Alberta” *. Polly Knowlton Cockett has signed the Declaration of Voters’ Rights – Politicians Pledge here: Proportional Representation – Cockett
Robert Prcic – Liberal Party Alberta – “Alberta Liberals believe in … Fairness to Future Generations. We … are committed to … solutions that are based on … Social Progressiveness …” *3
Jennifer Burgess – NDP Alberta – see below at *4
Kathy Macdonald – Wild Rose Party – This party does not mention Proportional Representation on its web site, but see *6 below.
Dave Woody Phillips – Independent – Position on Proportional Representation unknown.
Calgary – West
Troy Millington – Alberta Party – This party, while articulating many changes to effect ‘democratic renewal’ does not mention proportional representation.*5
Mike Ellis – Progressive Conservative – The PC Alberta Statement of Principles does not address PR or electoral reform.**2
David Khan – Liberal Party Alberta – “Alberta Liberals believe in … Fairness to Future Generations. We … are committed to … solutions that are based on … Social Progressiveness …” *3
Brian Malkinson – NDP Alberta – see below at *4
Sheila Taylor – Wild Rose Party – This party does not mention Proportional Representation on its web site, but see *6 below.
* Quoted from the web site of the Green Party of Alberta.
*2 The PC Alberta Statement of Principles (on the party’s web site) does not address PR or electoral reform.
*3 Abstracted from the Vice President, Policy’s message at http://www.albertaliberal.com/2014_policy_convention
*4 “. . . The Alberta New Democratic Party by-election Candidates in Calgary, Jennifer Burgess, Stephanie McLean and Brian Malkinson, thank Fair Vote Calgary for it’s active participation in the election process and for powerfully advocating for electoral reform and a fairer democratic process.
“Alberta New Democrat party policy does not allow for candidates to sign declarations during an election period, but we are very supportive of proportional representation and meaningful democratic reform.
Alberta’s New Democrats are fighting to:
• Set up a system of proportional representation . . .” (Emphasis added by FVCalgary)
*6 Part of a letter received from ‘WildroseCaucus@assembly.ab.ca': “… Changing the method of electing representatives is not something our party members have raised for debate at any AGM, so on that front there seems to be broad support for the status quo. (Emphasis added) Thanks for being involved in proposing improvements to our system, and if there is anything else you or your organization want to propose for democratic reform please let us know”.
“WANT TO VOTE WITH YOUR CONSCIENCE CLEAR? THEN PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION IS THE WAY TO GO”
This was the theme chosen by the organizers of Speaker’s Corner, Sunday 5 October 2014 at 1.30 p.m. at Tomkin Park, at the corner of 8th Street and 17th Avenue SW
We discussed a part of politics that most don’t even think about…How your vote is used. Speakers were Mark Hambridge, for Fair Vote Calgary and Janet Keeping, Leader, Green Party of Alberta, and members of the public.
A video of the presentations and discussion is available here on YouTube.
Speakers’ Corner is presented and organized by the Zinner Law Office in partnership with the Calgary Leadership Forum under permit from the City of Calgary.
I just received the following email from Dave Meslin, Campaign Director for the Friends of the Reform Act.
“September is going to be an important month for the Reform Act!
“Just three months ago, there was an incredible amount of multi-partisan support in the House of Commons. But we need your help to make sure the Reform Act survives the next four weeks!
“A few days ago, we mailed out thousands of leaflets to volunteers across the country. Now we need your help too. Please take a moment to put both the debate and the vote in your calendar (and if you’re on Facebook please RSVP for both events: debate / vote). As it gets closer, we’ll send you links so you can watch both events live online.
“You can help us spread the word by sharing our website with friends, continuing the discussion on Facebook and Twitter and by making sure your MP knows how you feel about the Reform Act and the important democratic changes that Michael Chong has introduced.
“This is a rare opportunity for us to rebuild trust and faith in our democracy by giving both you and your MP a stronger voice. Thank you for your support!
Friends of the Reform Act “