The Foundation Issue

When you look at what is happening in Canada, it’s easy to to be overwhelmed by all the things that are wrong. In particular, all the things that aren’t working the way we think they work.

At the heart of the problem is the democratic deficit Canada struggles under. My researches over the past several years have made me conclude the only meaningful solution open to Canada is to repair the shaky foundation of our electoral system. Winner-take-all electoral systems like First Past The Post divide Canadians into winners (who elect the government) and losers (without representation). The whole country suffers from the unstable policies that result as the electoral pendulum swings back and forth between parties.

Working hard on set: Sharon Sommerville and John Dreger
Working hard on set: Sharon Sommerville and John Dreger

Most Canadians want the stable policy that would result from more democratic government, but we won’t get that without Proportional Representation. That makes it important for all of Canada’s political parties to commit to meaningful electoral reform so that all Canadians can be represented in parliament.

Some of my Liberal friends hope to help their Party membership change their electoral policy at the next Montreal convention, so I helped them make this small film called “The Foundation.”

p.s.  You can stream or share it from YouTube, but if you want to download it visit the new Libreleft Films page.  Please share it anywhere that may do some good.

FVC Waterloo meets MP Stephen Woodworth

Stephen Woodworth's Kitchener Centre Constituency Office
Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth’s Kitchener Centre constituency office.

Bob Jonkman and Sharon Sommerville
Fair Vote Waterloo’s former Co-Chair Bob Jonkman with current FVC WRC Co-Chair Sharon Sommerville

David, Bob and Sharon look at the map

Getting a sneak peak at Waterloo Region’s new electoral riding.

The FVC WRC Delegation
The Delegation:  David Lubell, Shannon Adshade, Sharon Sommerville and Bob Jonkman
present MP Stephen Woodworth with a petition asking for electoral reform.

MP Stephen Woodworth

Mr. Woodworth accepts the Fair Vote Electoral Reform Petition which he will present to Parliament.

The MP holds the petition

MP Stephen Woodworth and FV WRC co-chair Shannon Adshade

MP Stephen Woodworth and FVC WRC Co-Chair Shannon Adshade.

Stephen Woodworth discusses electoral reform with the delegation.

MP Stephen Woodworth is the current Conservative Member of Parliament
for Kitchener Centre in Ontario.

Discussing political reformA lively discussion: MP Stephen Woodworth discusses parliamentary reform with the FVC delegation,
Shannon Adshade, Bob Jonkman, David Lubell and Sharon Sommerville.

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All photographs by Laurel L. Russwurm are released under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) License

Fair Vote Canada WRC presents @JimHarris on Robocalls

Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter

Transcript of FairVoteWRC Live Blog

“Robocalls: The Story So Far” panel discussion 7pm tonight at Duke of Wellington, 33 Erb St. E. !fairvote !YKF

Sharon Sommerville of @FairvoteWRC making introductions #Robocall

Simon Rowland not able to make it tonight, @JimHarris flying solo #Robocall

Q: Why is this issue important? @JimHarris: Since @PMHarper won his seat by 6000 votes, makes difference with #FPTP, #Robocall influence

Correction: @PMHarper won his *majority* by 6000 votes (not his seat) #Robocall

Elections Canada investigations are completely secret, unless someone is convicted; story broken by Post Media #Robocall

#Robocall is not just “dirty tricks”, it is Election Fraud

Guelph Green Party candidate’s wife received a #Robocall, sent volunteers to direct people back to correct polling station

@JimHarris’s article on #Robocall was most popular item on HuffPo for over a month

Typical commercial #Robocall gets maybe 3 complaints for 25,000 messages sent

@JimHarris finds it interesting that a “right-wing” paper like National Post would push back at Conservatives like this #Robocall

@JimHarris says: Considering the power of the PMO’s office, the #Robocall campaign had to be strategic, systemic, planned and orchestrated

“In and Out Scheme” was designed to circumvent election spending rules; move money to riding associations to obscure funding in 70 ridings

@JimHarris: There is no consequence to breaking the law #Robocall

To falsely pose as an official of Elections Canada is illegal, so no need to prove that people were prevented from voting #Robocall

Gentleman in the audience lives in Guelph, received #Robocall, looked out his window to see if the polling station was still open (it was)

Judicial Inquiry is public, has jail sentences. Elections Canada investigation is secret. We need a Judicial Inquiry on #Robocall

Four out of five parties want to get to the bottom of the #Robocall investigation, one party does not.

@JimHarris: The #Robocall rabbit hole goes very deep

Q: How do we keep the #Robocall issue alive? @JimHarris says: I have faith in Elections Canada and Canadians, but we need to keep pushing

@CouncilofCDNs launched a case for 7 ridings with fraudulent calls; but Government needed to launch independent Judicial Inquiry #Robocall

Q: Who is the individual that acted as false Elections Canada official? #Robocall company? Person who speaks the message? Person who pays?

It wasn’t only #Robocall messages, there were also telemarketers with live calls.

There were also harrassing calls, eg.calls made to Jewish districts on the Sabbath #Robocalls

You can win issues not on fact but how the debate is framed. Conservatives frame by saying few people affected, no adverse results #Robocall

How can we lobby for a Judicial Inquiry or making the Elections Canada investigation public? Petitions are only the first step #Robocall

Q: Who can be prosecuted? Elections Canada could prosecute anyone, anybody involved in the entire chain of events #Robocall

RCMP are also involved in the Elections Canada investigation. #Robocall

@CouncilofCDNs case is keeping this issue in the news; also FOI requests by journalists #Robocall

@JimHarris says: “Being here tonight lifts my spirits, and fuels my hope for democracy” #Robocall

@FairVoteWRC‘s #Robocall presentation with @JimHarris was live-microblogged by @BobJonkman
All content and data are available under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.

[Editing note: To improve readability, the posts are displayed chronologically here. Also, I deleted two near duplicate posts (which were repeated due to missing #robocall hashtag) and included a factual correction made after the presentation directly following the post made in error.]
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