Archive for the 'elections' Category

UBC VoteMob – Get the Word Out

April 16, 2011

Check out the UBC votemob youtube page is here. Here’s the promo…yes, I said promo. This is serious.

See you there Wednesday at noon at the Knoll outside the SUB.


The New Dawn of Democratic Reform in Canada

May 13, 2009

The referendum to bring in a new age of democracy in BC failed last night, the battle, lost.  As we wake up this morning we must realize that the war is not over, it has only just begun for many of us.

Thousands of people across BC and Canada have been woken up to the need for change in the past year.  I had never been involved in politics until last fall when the arguments about the Coalition awoke me to the widespread lack of understanding of our democracy.  Now I have experienced first hand with many others how hard it is to bring about change.

But change is needed.

From the artificial choice between two parties in BC to the continuing minority trials in Ottawa to the growing attention on vote swapping it is clear that our democracy is broken and voters know it. Dispersed voices, such as the Greens are not heard.  Concentrated voices such as the Bloc are heard beyond their actual strength.  Everywhere, voter turnout is lower than ever before and the choices presented to the voter seem more and more meaningless.

So brace yourself, and take a look at the official results:

(make sure you look at which cities voted, the areas with the most volunteers, Victoria and Vancouver, did much better. One next step could be to get those city councils to institute STV for municipal elections)

Even StudentVote, which gives high school and elementary students the opportunity to practice voting didn’t do much better. Young people generally support reform more than older people but these students still did not have nearly enough support to pass the reform:

To make you feel a bit better, or maybe worse, take a look at these results of how this election might have turned out if we’d been using STV.

Someday soon, the media, the politicians and the Canadian public will connect these dots and realize change is needed. Now our job is to continue working to make that happen.

I have been so honoured to work with and have been deeply impressed by all of the people I have met while volunteering to campaign for STV.  The response online was especially robust but even on the street I can remember the dozens of people who had that lightbulb of hope go off right in front of me.  And of course many people gave money to help the campaign, I wasn’t involved in that but it was essential to get the level of visibility we did achieve.  Thank you to everyone who helped in any way. We did a good thing, and now it seems it was just one  battle of many to come.  But we shall not surrender.

If you aren’t willing to admit defeat either, then you can do two things right now

  1. Join Fair Vote Canada if you haven’t already
  2. Join this facebook group : Canadians for Democratic Change to keep the discussion going and let the politicians and the media know what Canadian voters demand out of democracy and their representatives.

Take Heart, we’re almost there and we’re not alone.

May 7, 2009

Two fantastic articles/posts in the last 24hours from influential people in the media that you should read before you go to bed tonight, you’ll rest a bit better knowing there is reason and sanity in the world. Then get out there and spread the word for a few days more.

Andrew Coyne (editor : Macleans Magazine) : A Vote That Really Counts

Christy Clark (Host on CKNW and former BC Deputy Premier) : Why I’m Supporting STVyoutube video

FairVote BC AGM A Huge Success

April 18, 2009

Well, we didn’t have wireless so the liveblogging didn’t happen for me, but @jdlh got a few in, check it out.  It was  a great event. There was a packed house, people from the campaign around the Lower Mainland and a bunch of people who had traveled in from other parts of Canada to help out.  The discussions ranged over the whole map from how to answer questions, techniques to spread the word, campaign strategies.  There was lots of vigorous discussion on all that has happened so far from before the Citizen’s Assembly, through that process and up to where we are today.  The one common theme from everyone is that everyone is committed to making history in BC on May 12 and that this referendum is not only the most important issue of this campiagn but of a generation and we must do all we can to seize this opportunity.

On a practical level there were all kinds of ideas discussed for where and how to campaign which will percolate out through all the emails lists you are on, the facebook groups you are in etc.

We also got a sample of our sun run team superhero outfit, Stephen Broscoe donned his cape and sunglasses.  Did anyone get  a picture of him?  Well, tomorrow we’ll have a picture of 30-40 heroes participating in the sunrun with their blue shirts and capes.  Look for us afterwards at the stadium and say hi.  If you aren’t running and want to help out there will be people pamphletting after the race, you can get flyers and a t-shirt at the west side of the stadium starting from 9am.

But the highlight I think was the presentation by Scottish MP Tricia Marwick.  Scotland has experience using STV for all its local elections as well as using another PR system for its parliamentary elections.  Her stories were great, I’ll try to summarize some of what she said up here soon, there mayb even be a video online of her speaking.

That’s all for now, gotta get ready for the run tomorrow. More highlights to come…

The Most Important Election in a Generation

April 15, 2009

In his campaign kickoff speech yesterday, premier Gordon Campbell proclaimed that this election will be the most important election in a generation. The choice voters make this election will indeed reverberate through BC and Canada for decades to come, but not based on whether we choose to have the NDP or the Liberals run the province for the next few years.  The choice that matters is whether we decide to stay with the current First-Past-The-Post electoral system or switch to BC-STV.  Read the rest of this entry »

Now is not the time for Apathy

March 26, 2009

Thanks to everyone who came out and helped organize the Referendum Of A Liftetime info session this afternoon in the Norm Theatre.  Thanks especially to all our speakers Stephen Owen, Jane Sterk and Craig Henschel as well as Dan Grice from the campaign.  In case you missed it I was livetweeting the whole event, you can find it by looking up #roal on twitter. Read the rest of this entry »

Op-Ed : Blake, don’t pull an Al Gore

February 7, 2009

The recent AMS elections left me with a warm feeling in my heart in more ways than one.  It was the highest turnout in UBC history, over 6000 students, a big achievement in a  campus democracy.  Read the rest of this entry »

AMS election results: good news for BC-STV

February 5, 2009

There were many reasons to be optimistic about last night’s AMS election 2009 results:

1) Strong BC-STV supporters elected to key positions

UPDATE: It appears that Blake Frederick has been disqualified for ‘slating’ (collaborating too much with other candidates), which would make Alex president.  Details and commentary posted here.  There could be an appeal, so this may not be final.

We at Fair Vote UBC were happy to see that the two candidates we endorsed, Blake Frederick for AMS president and Tim Chu for VP External, were both elected in their respective races. It is crucial that in the coming months leading up the May 12 BC-STV referendum that we have a supportive AMS executive that will help raise awareness among the UBC community. Both Blake and Tim support an AMS endorsement of BC-STV, and we hope that the AMS will take a leading role in promoting BC-STV in the coming months.
Read the rest of this entry »

The sound of one democratic hand clapping

December 5, 2008

Coalition government? Yes, but it’s not the one we deserve

After 141 years is Canada finally, albeit accidentally, on the path to modern representative democracy? Don’t pop the champagne cork yet. We still have a way to go, but the law of unintended consequences may be at work in Ottawa. Read the rest of this entry »

Why not?

December 1, 2008

Regardless of what happens in Ottawa in the next week regarding the the impending conversion of the Conserative minority to a Liberal-NDP coalition one thing is clear.  This will be a great moment to have a national discussion about minority governments Read the rest of this entry »