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Wednesday September 7: Stanton town hall in Midland on electoral reform

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In Council Watch
Aug 18th, 2016
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Bruce Stanton MP

Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton will host town hall meetings in Orillia (held August 17) and Midland to provide local residents the opportunity to share their thoughts on reforming the federal electoral system.

In Midland:
Wednesday, September 7th , 6:00PM-8:00PM
North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre (527 Len Self Blvd

The consultations in Simcoe North will feed into the work of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, and focus on four main questions:

Do you feel the House of Commons represents Canadians effectively? Why or why not?
Of the guiding principles the government has set out for Canadian federal electoral reform (effectiveness and legitimacy, engagement, accessibility and inclusiveness, integrity and local representation) what principles are most or least important to you, and why? Are there other principles that should be included?
What do you think are some of the strengths of our current federal electoral system? What are some of the weaknesses?
Are there electoral systems, other than our current one, that you have heard about and believe would be suitable for Canada?
Those unable to attend the town hall meetings can share their thoughts on electoral reform and these four questions via email (bruce.stanton@parl.gc.ca) or regular mail (no postage necessary when mailing your MP).
In advance of the consultations, people may wish to consult the Library of Parliament publication: “Electoral Systems and Electoral Reform in Canada and Elsewhere” –
http://bit.ly/1Pkazuz – to familiarize themselves with our current system, and some of the alternative systems used in other countries.

From Fair Vote Canada

We hope you will consider attending one of the two Town Hall meetings that M.P. Bruce Stanton will be hosting, on Wednesday, August 17 in Orillia and on Wednesday, September 7 in Midland. The Government requested that all M.P.s hold meetings where the public can respond to questions related to electoral reform. Please see Bruce Stanton’s notice below for locations, times and the questions for which feedback is being requested.

It would be more meaningful to provide attendees with information about voting systems – before asking for their opinions. The fact is that most Canadians say that they know “nothing, or next to nothing” about voting systems, so asking for opinions ahead of discussion about the general characteristics of different systems is like asking a jury to render a verdict before they have heard the evidence. It is clear that the Conservative strategy is to pretend that they don’t favour any particular system while insisting that any proposed new system must be subject to a referendum. They know that their only hope of regaining absolute power is through the present First-Past-the-Post system and that an ill informed public would likely vote against change in a referendum.

The outcome of the electoral reform process is critically important for Canadian democracy, given the fact that many more voters would vote if the incentive for strategic voting was removed.

If you are unable to attend in person please send your views to Bruce Stanton and to the Parliamentary Committee. This is probably a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to make the change to a fairer system. It is important that everyone appreciate that the Preferential Ballot (aka the Alternative Vote) should not be confused with any proportional system. It could produce election outcomes that are even less proportional than FPTP. The Preferential Ballot was favoured by the Liberal Party, and would probably give it an advantage since the Liberals are the most likely second choice for both NDP and Conservative supporters.

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