The Don Dunphy Inquiry is important to all Canadians

Watching the live stream of the Commission of Inquiry Respecting the Death of Donald Dunphy is, well, disconcerting.

Check the Whoa!Canada calendar for the Don Dunphy Inquiry schedule https://whoacanada.wordpress.com/calendar/
Check the Whoa!Canada calendar for the Don Dunphy Inquiry schedule
https://whoacanada.wordpress.com/calendar/

Today RNC Constable Smyth told the Inquiry he spent an hour scanning a years worth of Don Dunphy’s twitter stream before going to see Don Dunphy.  Of course we can’t actually see Don Dunphy’s twitter stream because it’s been taken down.  But the tweets still exist (there was a time when Twitter said all tweets would eventually end up in the Libary of Congress).  We are talking about *thousands* of tweets, here, tweets that law enforcement and lawyers have access to.

The Inquiry is told Don Dunphy tweeted an a wide variety of subjects across many issues, including human rights and social justice. Don Dunphy routinely tweeted or retweeted inspirational quotations from the likes of the Dali Lama and Albert Einstein.  Mr. Dunphy also talked about issues that directly concerned him.  An injured worker who felt ill served by government, with particular grievances with the Workplace Health, Safety & Compensation Commission of Newfoundland and Labradorhe talked about government failure.

Dunphy, 59, was a former truck driver who battled for years with workers’ compensation after being crushed at 28 by a backhoe on a construction site. The frequent Twitter user called himself “a crucified injured worker from NL Canada where employers treat (the) injured like criminals.”
Inquiry to ask: Why did Newfoundland police officer shoot Don Dunphy?

When apprised of a “disconcerting” tweet, Constable Joe Smyth, a member of the RNC protective detail for then Premier Davis, today told the Inquiry he made an assumption  Don Dunphy would react badly if he had he had gone to Mr. Dunphy’s house accompanied by a uniformed RNC officer.  Instead Constable Smyth went alone, driving an unmarked vehicle, dressed in plainclothes.  And when he got there, it seems he was deliberately cagey about why he was there.  And Don Dunphy ended up dead.

Today, Dunphy family lawyer, Bob Simmonds tried to find out the basis for the officer’s assumption, since Smyth agreed Don Dunphy had neither advocated or promoted violence in his tweets. In answer, Constable Smyth characterized Don Dunphy’s stated belief — that death of his wife and others were due to institutional failure — as “ideation”

One Wikipedia definition is:

“Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas, where an idea is understood as a basic element of thought that can be either visual, concrete, or abstract.[1] Ideation comprises all stages of a thought cycle, from innovation, to development, to actualization.[2] As such, it is an essential part of the design process, both in education and practice.[3]

But clearly that is not the definition Constable Smyth intended.  “Ideation” is his reason for believing Don Dunphy needed “threat assessment” ASAP.  Which indicates his meaning is more likely “Paranoid Ideation.”

As Mr. Simmonds questions the officer about the urgency or appropriateness of interrupting Don Dunphy in his home, unannounced, at meal time on Easter Sunday:

“There is a duty and an expectation when you identify certain behaviours and follow up on those behaviors… an unresolved grievance that may or may not be grounded in reality.”

— Constable Smyth

When the officer says “may or may not be grounded in reality,” he implies Mr. Dunphy may suffer an inability to differentiate between reality and unreality.

This sounds to me as though the entire series of events culminating in this tragic death of Don Dunphy was built on the RNC Officer’s mistaken belief he was somehow competent to render a medical diagnosis of Mr. Dunphy based entirely on a superficial reading of the dead man’s Twitter feed.  What a frightening assumption for a law officer to make.  While I imagine there are folks at Workplace NL or elected officials in the government of Newfoundland and Labrador who might have disliked or disagreed with him, it seems the only person insinuating Don Dunphy was imagining things is the RNC Officer who shot and killed him on that Easter Sunday afternoon.

Constable Smyth’s subsequent ill advised email takes this hubris even further, as he wrote about being “too late” to “help” Mr Dunphy, or that the tragedy is “an opportunity to educate” the public about proactive “Intelligence based policing,” Constable Smyth even drew an outrageous comparison to the Ottawa shooting, explaining public officials need protection from “individuals and groups who will be disgruntled, and when desperation and instability is added to the mix you will have security concerns.”  Perhaps the worst of it was in the closing paragraph:

“Although I cannot regret my actions last Sunday, I unequivocally wish I could have visited Mr. Dunphy at a point in his life where another level of intervention may have been possible. Our lives can change or end in the blink of an eye. Please seize any opportunity to help those who need it.”

CBC: RNC officer who shot Don Dunphy wishes better intervention possible

Mr. Dunphy’s “behavior” had been exclusively verbal.  And the only evidence of”escalation” seems to be in Constable Smyth’s perceptions.  Yet even he admits that, before he himself went out to Mitchells Brook, N.L., there was no foundation to suggest Don Dunphy posed an imminent threat.   Constable Smyth says he went to Don Dunphy’s home as part of his “threat assessment” process, to afford Mr. Dunphy an opportunity to explain his Twitter comments.

As Mr. Simmonds points out, Mr. Dunphy was simply exercising his right to free speech.  His right to express his dissatisfaction with government.  Why should Mr. Dunphy have to account to law enforcement for free speech in a free country?

And yet Constable Smyth goes on to describe Don Dunphy’s Twitter feed as “following a pathway to violence.”

As it happens, Constable Smyth is not a psychiatrist or even a psychologist, but a police officer who has taken some courses.  A police officer who continues to believe himself competent to unilaterally make such assessments of citizens.  This is seriously problematic.

Bob Simmonds
Bob Simmonds, lawyer for Meghan Dunphy, cross examines RNC Constable Smyth

After establishing Constable Smyth had no legal right to be in Don Dunphy’s home without Mr. Dunphy’s permission, Mr. Simmonds asked the constable why, when it became clear Don Dunphy no longer wanted him there — when Mr. Dunphy was, according to Constable Smyth’s words, “frothing at the mouth” — why didn’t the officer just leave?

Constable Smyth explained he didn’t leave because Don Dunphy didn’t explicitly tell him to leave.  And Don Dunphy died.

Even if you are willing to assume everything Constable Smyth believes everything he has testified to be true, how can any officer incapable of recognizing when an interview subject wants him to leave possibly be competent to make mental assessments of citizens?

Civil Rights Exist To Protect Citizens

The Don Dunphy Inquiry is bigger than Newfoundland and Labrador; this tragedy shines a light on a danger facing all of Canada.

When people are afraid someone is listening, free speech is no longer a right, but a dangerous practice.  When law enforcement monitors innocent law abiding citizens on social media platforms like Twitter, citizens whose only “crime” is the exercise our Charter rights to free speech, our Charter rights are under attack.

Constable Joe Smyth answers questions at the Commission of Inquiry Respecting the Death of Donald Dunphy
Constable Joe Smyth answers questions at the Commission of Inquiry Respecting the Death of Donald Dunphy today.

Tom Mahoney, Executive Director, WorkplaceNL told police Constable Smyth said:

The worst thing about these situations is these guys you know tend to be in their house, they tend to feel free to say what they like, but they don’t realize there are consequences.

Mr. Simmonds questioned Constable Smyth as to the “consequences for free speech.”  He also wanted to know why, absent any other evidence, did he decide Don Dunphy was a person of interest requiring ASAP investigation based solely on the fact he spoke his mind about politics and politicians online.  But Constable Smyth repeatedly denied infringing Don Dunphy’s right to free speech.  But what else can you call it when an agent of law enforcement takes what you say on social media and uses it to unilaterally judge you?

Privacy– freedom from having to worry that the government is not watching and listening to us without good reason (what the law calls probable cause) is an important part of how citizens stay safe from government over reach and injustice in a democracy.  That’s why an Injured workers group asks why WorkplaceNL gave Don Dunphy information to police. Injured citizens are among society’s most vulnerable, so when injured workers are obliged to turn over personal information to government agencies that are supposed to help them, they don’t expect that information to be handed over to police at the drop of a hat.  And they are right to be concerned, as the Don Dunphy tragedy clearly illustrates.  Surely Don Dunphy isn’t the only injured worker venting about their frustrations on social media.  Social media networks exist because human beings create community, not to make it easier for police to judge our every word.  Apparently Constable Smyth failed to learn that in his social media course.

If Canadians are not free to say what we like in our house, even if we are talking online, where do we have free speech?  Canadian democracy is Built on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Now I’m not a lawyer, but it certainly seems to me as if Don Dunphy’s Charter rights were breached twice:

Fundamental Freedoms

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

… (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

~ and ~

Legal Rights
Life, liberty and security of person

7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

On the national front, the Federal Government’s failure to amend or repeal the law that gives federal law enforcement “lawful access” to monitor innocent Canadians online (formerly known as Bill C-51) is a virtual guarantee that such miscarriages of justice, and indeed similar tragedies, will undoubtedly happen again as a matter of course.  Is this acceptable to you? It isn’t to me.

Don Dunphy spoke up for what he believed is right, but the man was silenced forever.  Perhaps even worse, to me, as both a writer and a believer in free speech, is that the words he wrote on Twitter have been silenced as well.

All Canadians need the full protection of the Charter.  Otherwise the Charter isn’t worth the paper its written on.

 


The Inquiry continues tomorrow ~ January 24th, 2017 ~ with what will probably be the final cross-examination of Constable Smyth.   

Commission of Inquiry Respecting the Death of Donald Dunphy Livestream:
http://www.ciddd.ca/
Watch Live:
http://video.isilive.ca/nfld/remote.html

What WE Can Do for ERRE

back to DIY Electoral Reform Info SessionsCanadians Deserve Better -Proportional Representation - on Canadian Flag backgroundThis is the nineteenth in the Whoa!Canada: Proportional Representation Series

erre-you-r-hereAlthough you’d hardly know it from our friends in the Main Stream Media, there is an Electoral Reform Consultation going on right now.

I’ve been trying to raise awareness of Proportional Representation because that is the only way we will get the *real* real change Canada so desperately needs.  Like most Canadians, I used to think Government Consultations were just for experts.  It never occurred to me that a consultation was meant to consult with all Canadians until I was found myself involved in the 2009 Canadian Copyright Consultation in 2009. More than eight thousand Canadians submitted written submissions, and my understanding is that was the best response any Canadian consultation has ever had until then.

The ERRE Special Committee on Electoral Reform wants facts from the experts, but they also want to find out what ordinary Canadians want.

Even though most Canadians lack the requisite background in electoral systems, we don’t need to be experts to know the system we’ve been using isn’t working.  I don’t understand how my car’s engine actually works, but I certainly know when it doesn’t.  At this time, Canadians need to make sure the Special Committee on Electoral Reform knows that we do want Proportional Representation.

Stand Up For Proportional Representation.

The government needs to know Canadians are not satisfied with our electoral system and that we want Proportional Representation because we care about our democracy.   Since a petition requires so little effort, although helpful, especially with many signatures) your signature on a petition is not given as much weight as a form letter.  The most weight is given to personal contact.  Talking to your MP on the phone ore in person has a lot of weight: it demonstrates how important the issue is to you.

Even if you don’t say a word, even if you are just there to learn, attending any Electoral Reform discussion night or town hall near you is very important, because your presence demonstrates your commitment to electoral reform.

If your MP hasn’t announced a town hall, call them up or send them an email.  All our MPs are all supposed to have a Town Hall. Conservative MPs seem to be avoiding holding Town Halls.  If your MP is Conservative, tell them Conservative voters deserve to be consulted too.

Attend a Community Dialogue, or even set up your own Canadian  Community Dialogue

@WR_Greens hosts a Community Dialogue on Electoral ReformFairvote Waterloo folks are hosting one every Tuesday in a local cafe. They have a list of questions (5 or 6) that a table of participants discus, the facilitator guides them through a list of questions & takes notes; at the end of the night the participants all sign the sheet which is then sent to the ERRE folks.  The Waterloo Region Greens will be doing this on a larger scale with a Waterloo Region Community Dialogue on Electoral Reform on September 17th, 2016.

You can do this yourself on any scale, with a few friends at a picnic table in the park, around your kitchen table, the cafeteria or anywhere.

You can start with the ERRE suggested Potential Canadian federal electoral reform event dialogue topics and questions here.

Get the Canadian federal electoral reform dialogue hosting guide here.

3. Catch up on what the Committee has done in the meetings so far… I’ve included links to the video, as well as the evidence transcripts and the witness briefs that have been posted to find out what experts have been saying in their submissions.

Participate on Twitter

—TWITTER: The Committee monitored the Twitter feed #ERRE #Q for comments and questions from Canadians during the committee meetings, some Twitter questions were posed to the witnesses in real time.

Other hashtags:

#ERRE
#ERRE #Q
#ProportionalRepresentation
#VoterEquality
#ProportionalPlease
#Referendum
#CDNpoli

Even though the Ottawa Committee Meetings are over (I am not sure if there will be another round later) you can continue to follow the committee members on Twitter (links to members twitter handles here) and continue to tweet about #ERRE #Q.  It seemed to me the most active on Twitter were @nathancullen@MPRubySahota@SherryRomanado and @ElizabethMay

Unfortunately, instead of helping inform their constituents, the Conservative members of the committee @ScottReidCPC@BlakeRichardsMP are working hard to delay or derail the Electoral Reform Consultation by concentrating their greatest efforts in demanding an Electoral Reform Referendum.  Proportional Representation isn’t a partisan issue; all it means is that voters will get better representation in Parliament.

The more we can share information through our social media accounts the greater the public awareness.

Make your own presentation to the ERRE Committee in person

—Requests to appear may be sent to the Committee by email (erre@parl.gc.ca) or by using the appropriate button on the Committee’s website. Please note that the Committee clerks will contact only those who are selected by the Committee members to appear. Requests to appear must be submitted to the Committee no later than October 7, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

If you keep an eye out you may get a chance to jointhe Honourable Maryam Monsef and/or #ERRE Committee on their Electoral Reform Road Trip.

Online Questionaire

Anyone can fill out the online questionaire as a submission here:
Special Committee on Electoral Reform E-CONSULTATION ON ELECTORAL REFORM 

Make your own Written Submission

—WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS: Any person or organization can submit a brief to the Committee. To be accepted, the brief must be no more than 3,000 words in length (including the summary and footnotes) and be submitted to the Committee no later than October 7, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). The Committee recommends highlighting any recommendations to support the principles set out in the motion mentioned above. Briefs may be sent to the Committee by email (erre@parl.gc.ca) or by using the appropriate button on the Committee’s website. Once they are translated, briefs will be distributed to the Committee members and posted on the Committee’s website.

It is probably best to begin with the principles defined by the Government:

 

Guiding principles for Canadian federal electoral reform

The following five guiding principles may help you think about what you want from federal elections, your Member of Parliament (MP) and your federal government. They can help you decide what is important to you when it comes to potential changes to our democracy at the federal level by considering how any proposed reforms might:

  • Restore the effectiveness and legitimacy of voting, such as by reducing distortions and strengthening the link between voter intention and the electoral result
  • Encourage greater engagement and participation in the democratic process, including by underrepresented groups
  • Support accessibility and inclusiveness of all eligible voters, and avoiding undue complexity in the voting process
  • Safeguard the integrity of our voting process
  • Preserve the accountability of local representation

Why are these principles important?

The principles were identified as a means to encourage a thoughtful, substantive dialogue about what Canadians expect from their electoral system. Potential changes to Canada’s federal electoral system can be assessed through questions such as:

  • How could any proposed reforms strengthen effectiveness and legitimacy by better reflecting the democratic will of Canadians?
  • How could any proposed reforms foster civility, cohesion and openness in politics that will help encourage Canadians to take part?
  • How could any proposed reforms enhance the sense among Canadians that they can contribute to, participate in and influence politics?
  • How could any proposed reforms support accessibility and inclusiveness for all Canadians in our diverse society?
  • How could any proposed reforms ensure that Canadians can trust election results?
  • How could any proposed reforms affect MPs’ accountability to citizens?

Then it might be an idea to take a look at some of the written submissions other Canadians have posted here.  (Unfortunately the submissions from the experts and ordinary Canadians are jumbled together.  Some people who submit are experts but this is a way for all Canadians to be heard. Although I have absorbed far more than I ever wanted to know about this, I am not an expert.  And I will be writing my own sumbission, which I will post here in Whoa!Canada so you will be able to read it (and maybe borrow some of my ideas for your own submission).    The idea is to let the Government (through the ERRE Committee) know what you want them to do.

Your written submission does NOT have to be a scholarly essay (although it can be if you want it to be).  The maximum size is 3,000 words.

This isn’t a test, there are no wrong answers, the government is only asking for our opinions if we have them, and if we do, this is a chance for us to be heard.  This process is really for us.

Your submission is entirely up to you; it can be as detailed or not as you like.  If you have only one thing to say, it might just as easily be a single sentence.  Maybe something like:

I want Canada to adopt some form of Proportional Representation.

or

Proportional representation please!

or

No referendum! Proportional Representation.

or

Canada should adopt   (fill in favourite electoral system here)   [Summaries of the different systems can be found here]

TALK

Talk to your FAMILY and FRIENDS about this. At home, on social media, at work, at school, wherever you go.  You don’t need to be an expert, share links.

Canadians who wish to follow the Committee’s work may do so by visiting its website (http://www.parl.gc.ca/Committees/en/ERRE).

If the ERRE Committee is appearing anywhere near you, go, and bring as many friends & family as possible.

VIDEOS

Movies work better for many people, including me. This is my YouTube Electoral Reform playlist.  Share the list and/or specific videos.  I hope to make a few more soon.

More Information

This article is part of my Proportional Representation for Canada series to help demystify electoral reform.  More info is available on my PR 4 Canada Resources page, and I keep adding material as I find it.  Please share any articles and materials about electoral reform you may find helpful.  If I haven’t answered your questions yet, ask in a comment or send me an email.


I hope you will participate in one way or another.

Just being part of the process — even if it is just quietly listening at an Electoral Reform Town Hall — is a help because your participation will give them an idea whether we care about electoral reform.

Oh, and I almost forgot… the Ontario portion of the ERRE road show will be coming to Toronto on September 21st, 2016.

ERRE Special Committee on Electoral Reform comes to Toronto - Wednesday September 21st, 2016 Chelsea Hotel Churchill Ballroom 33 Gerrard St W, Toronto, ON → map ← 1:30—4:15 pm Witness Panel(s) √ 13 h 30—16 h 15 Panel(s) de témoins 4:15—5:00 pm Open mic √ 16 h 15—17 h 00* séance micro ouvert 6:30—9:30 pm Open mic √ 18 h 30—21 h 30* séance micro ouvert *Please note that the end time for the open mic sessions are approximate

back to DIY Electoral Reform Info Sessions

Proportional Representation Series So Far:

• Proportional Representation for Canada
• What’s so bad about First Past The Post
• Democracy Primer
• Working for Democracy
• The Popular Vote
• Why Don’t We Have PR Already?
• Stability
• Why No Referendum?
• Electoral System Roundup
• When Canadians Learn about PR with CGP Grey
• Entitlement
• Proportional Representation vs. Alternative Vote
• #ERRÉ #Q Committee
• #ERRÉ #Q Meetings & Transcripts
• Take The Poll ~ #ERRÉ #Q
Proportionality #ERRÉ #Q 
• The Poll’s The Thing 
• DIY Electoral Reform Info Sessions
• What WE Can Do for ERRÉ
• #ERRÉ today and Gone Tomorrow (…er, Friday)
• Redistricting Roulette 
• #ERRÉ submission Deadline TONIGHT!
#ERRÉ Submission by Laurel L. Russwurm
• The Promise: “We will make every vote count” #ERRÉ
FVC: Consultations Provide Strong Mandate for Proportional Representation #ERRÉ
PEI picks Proportional Representation
There is only one way to make every vote count #ERRÉ
Canada is Ready 4 Proportional Representation
Sign the Petition e-616
#ProportionalRepresentation Spin Cycle ~ #ERRÉ
• International Women’s Day 2017 ~ #IWD
• An Open Letter to ERRÉ Committee Liberals

and don’t forget to check out the PR4Canada Resources page!

The Poll’s The Thing

back to PROPORTIONALITY #ERRE #QAhead to DIY Electoral Reform Info SessionsCanadians Deserve Better -Proportional Representation - on Canadian Flag backgroundThis is the seventeenth in the Whoa!Canada: Proportional Representation Series

My little Electoral Reform Opinion Poll on Twitter has run it’s course, and since there was approximately a 3% response, as promised it’s time to share.

The most effective referenda employ a binary question, and so that’s what I did in my simple opinion poll.

Hey, Canada: do you think: 17% - 29% votes = 100% power | 83% voted 39% votes = 39% power - 41 votes • Final Results #ERRE #Q #CDNpoli

What I thought I was asking:

Do you think 39% of the votes should equal 100% of the power in Canadian Government?

OR

Do you think 39% of the votes should equal 39% of the power in Canadian Government?

That’s pretty straightforward, right?

But looking at it now, I’m a bit flabbergasted to discover 7 respondents (that’s about 3%) thought 39% of the votes should equal majority power.  That seems pretty high.

But then, as often happens in opinion polls and referenda, I realized the question really wasn’t phrased well at all.  Because it is too easily open to interpretation.

Looking at it now, more than a week later, is that my question might just as easily be read as:

In Canada’s electoral system, do you think

39% of the votes equal 100% of the power in Canadian Government?

OR

Do you think 39% of the votes equal 39% of the power in Canadian Government?

The upshot is I have no more idea what question the respondents were actually answering than Parliament knows what voters have actually voted for.

An Opinion Poll, or a Referendum is only as good as the question.

[Full disclosure: I hate opinion polls.]

Ahead to DIY Electoral Reform Info Sessions

back to PROPORTIONALITY #ERRE #Q

Proportional Representation Series So Far:

• Proportional Representation for Canada
• What’s so bad about First Past The Post
• Democracy Primer
• Working for Democracy
• The Popular Vote
• Why Don’t We Have PR Already?
• Stability
• Why No Referendum?
• Electoral System Roundup
• When Canadians Learn about PR with CGP Grey
• Entitlement
• Proportional Representation vs. Alternative Vote
• #ERRÉ #Q Committee
• #ERRÉ #Q Meetings & Transcripts
• Take The Poll ~ #ERRÉ #Q
Proportionality #ERRÉ #Q 
• The Poll’s The Thing 
• DIY Electoral Reform Info Sessions
• What WE Can Do for ERRÉ
• #ERRÉ today and Gone Tomorrow (…er, Friday)
• Redistricting Roulette 
• #ERRÉ submission Deadline TONIGHT!
#ERRÉ Submission by Laurel L. Russwurm
• The Promise: “We will make every vote count” #ERRÉ
FVC: Consultations Provide Strong Mandate for Proportional Representation #ERRÉ
PEI picks Proportional Representation
There is only one way to make every vote count #ERRÉ
Canada is Ready 4 Proportional Representation
Sign the Petition e-616
#ProportionalRepresentation Spin Cycle ~ #ERRÉ
• International Women’s Day 2017 ~ #IWD
• An Open Letter to ERRÉ Committee Liberals

and don’t forget to check out the PR4Canada Resources page!

Take The Poll ~ #ERRE #Q

back to #ERRE #Q Meetings & TranscriptsAhead to laurel l. russwurm's political musings PROPORTIONALITY #ERRE #QCanadians Deserve Better -Proportional Representation - on Canadian Flag backgroundThis is the fifteenth article in the Whoa!Canada: Proportional Representation Series

Twitter Poll

Although I don’t think public opinion polls should decide elections, public opinion polls can be a useful way of gathering information.

My public opinion poll is not scientific.  One of the biggest drawbacks of public opinion polls is that there is no obligation to answer truthfully.  And for self-selecting public opinion polls like this one, the people who answer are probably the ones who follow me on twitter because they agree with me.

Still, I am curious about what the people I talk to in social media actually think about this.  And I am curious what the people they talk to on social media might think.  That’s why I have launched the above twitter poll.  Maybe my friends in the twitterverse will vote in my poll, and share with their friends to bring the question to a wider pool of voters.  If you are not on Twitter but have friends who are, if you send them a link to this article or the twitter post, maybe they will vote too.

Electoral reform shouldn’t be for the benefit of parties, it should be for the benefit of citizens.

I have set my public opinion poll to run for a week, and pinned it to the top of my twitter feed.  If this gets traction, I will publish the results here after my public opinion poll concludes.

side by side 2011 and 2015 election results showing 39% seats = 100% of the power
Should 39% of the Vote = 100% of the power?

back to #ERRE #Q Meetings & Transcripts

Ahead to PROPORTIONALITY #ERRE #QProportional Representation Series So Far:

• Proportional Representation for Canada
• What’s so bad about First Past The Post
• Democracy Primer
• Working for Democracy
• The Popular Vote
• Why Don’t We Have PR Already?
• Stability
• Why No Referendum?
• Electoral System Roundup
• When Canadians Learn about PR with CGP Grey
• Entitlement
• Proportional Representation vs. Alternative Vote
• #ERRÉ #Q Committee
• #ERRÉ #Q Meetings & Transcripts
• Take The Poll ~ #ERRÉ #Q
Proportionality #ERRÉ #Q 
• The Poll’s The Thing 
• DIY Electoral Reform Info Sessions
• What WE Can Do for ERRÉ
• #ERRÉ today and Gone Tomorrow (…er, Friday)
• Redistricting Roulette 
• #ERRÉ submission Deadline TONIGHT!
#ERRÉ Submission by Laurel L. Russwurm
• The Promise: “We will make every vote count” #ERRÉ
FVC: Consultations Provide Strong Mandate for Proportional Representation #ERRÉ
PEI picks Proportional Representation
There is only one way to make every vote count #ERRÉ
Canada is Ready 4 Proportional Representation
Sign the Petition e-616
#ProportionalRepresentation Spin Cycle ~ #ERRÉ
• International Women’s Day 2017 ~ #IWD
• An Open Letter to ERRÉ Committee Liberals

and don’t forget to check out the PR4Canada Resources page!

Who will rock the ‪#‎GlobeDebate‬ ?

There are no end of excuses for excluding Elizabeth may from the Globe and Mail’s so-called “leadership debate.”

The Globe’s own story is:

We have invited the major party leaders to this debate  – those who have official status in The House of Commons.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau have been asked to take part, because we believe a more streamlined, effective conversation about the Canadian economy will take place in that format.

I guess the boys think Elizabeth May shouldn’t bother her pretty little head about a hard issue like the economy… never mind that her party was the first to publish a complete platform– one that is fully costed!  Not only do we know how much everything will cost, we can see where the money will come from.  (Has there been such a fiscally responsible leader in Canada since Tommy Douglas?)

Erïch Jacoby-Hawkins writes:

“The clear Canadian precedent is to allow parties running a large slate (at least 70 candidates) with at least one elected MP to be in the debates. Recognized party status (12 MPs) have NEVER been the criterion.

When Audrey McLauglin was in the 1993 debates, she had only 9 seats, while Preston Manning was also in with only 1 seat. In 1997, Jean Charest was in with only 2 seats. In none of those elections did anyone complain about those leaders being there; at no time did anyone seriously argue that this mean the Communists or Rhinos or any other unelected registered party should be in, nor did anyone argue that McLauglin, Manning, or Charest should be out for having fewer MPs than would normally comprise recognized party status.

For some reason, the Green Party is the ONLY party, during my voting lifetime which has had elected seats in the House yet been left out of leader debates. There is no precedent for this, nor is there any valid justification.

For some reason, every time the Greens reach what was previously the declared barrier (in 2008 and 2011 it was always “you need a seat first”), the bar is suddenly raised.”

But no matter that a large majority of Canadians want to see Ms. May in all the leadership debates, Mr. Harper decided to boycot the Consortium Debates to avoid her, and Mr. Mulcair seems happy to follow suit, the Globe and Mail is happy to proceed without the Green Party leader.

But Elizabeth May isn’t just any leader. She is a woman who knows how to stand up for what’s right, and she knows how to get things done. She certainly isn’t one to be silenced by an old boys club “no girls allowed” pact. I suspect Ms. May is also the most media savvy of the the leaders, possibly because the Green Party is a real grass roots party, so her solution has been to take the debate to Social Media, where she will participate in the debate in spite of everything. Partnering with Twitter, Ms. May will answer the questions herself on video, and each of her answers will be uploaded to twitter in real time.

ELIZABETH ROCKS

Our Waterloo Greens are planning a twitter debate party at 42 Erb Street East, Waterloo. Come on out and join us as we watch the #MayDeb8 and tweet and retweet.

We’re pretty sure we know who will rock twitter for the ‪#‎GlobeDebate‬
Here’s how you can take part:
1. Open both the @CanadianGreens and @ElizabethMay Twitter accounts.
2. Follow the live tweets.
3. Encourage your Twitter followers and Facebook fans/friends to do this, too.
4. Pick the tweets you like best, and re-tweet them.
5. Remember – if you comment on your re-tweets – the debate tweets will not show up as high as possible in the “Trending” list.
6. Use these hashtags #GlobeDebate‪#‎VoteGreen‪#‎elxn42‬ ‪#‎GlibandMale‬ ‪#‎GlobeandMale‬ ‪#‎VoteGPC‬ ‪#‎GPC‪#‎GreenSurge‪#‎UpForDebate

Team Michele Braniff

Who is rocking Twitter for the The Globe and Mail Debate?

‪#‎ItsGonnaBeMay‬

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Conservative MP presents Proportional Representation petition

Fair Vote Canada LogoThe Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter presented the Proportional Representation Petition to Kitchener Centre MP Stephen Woodworth last month.

Yesterday, on December 9th, 2013, the Conservative MP raised eyebrows on Parliament Hill when he presented the Proportional Representation petition to Parliament.

Fair Electoral Representation: Petition to the House of Commons

A petition to ensure Canadians have a fair electoral system

Whereas:

  • Our winner-take-all voting system results in a House of Commons where the number of MPs a party’s supporters elect does not reflect the number of voters who cast ballots for that party;
  • Fair voting systems better reflect the will of voters, let them vote for the candidate or party they prefer, and give each community fair and accountable representation.

We, the undersigned residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to immediately undertake public onsultations across Canada to amend the
Canada Elections Act to ensure voters:

  • Can cast an equal and effective vote to be represented fairly in parliament, regardless of political belief or place of residence;
  • Are governed by a fairly elected parliament where the share of seats held by each political party closely reflects the popular vote;
  • Live under legitimate laws approved by a majority of elected parliamentarians, representing a majority of voters;

And to introduce a suitable form of proportional representation after these public consultations.

Fair Vote Canada printable petition PDF

MP Stephen Woodworth
Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth

When the Fair Vote chapter presented the petition to the Conservative MP, Stephen Woodworth spent the better part of an hour discussing the issue with them. During that conversation, he made a commitment to look into it further and to present it to Parliament. And so he did.

YouTube: Proportional Representation
MP Stephen Woodworth meets FVC Waterloo #1

YouTube: Proportional Representation
MP Stephen Woodworth meets FVC Waterloo #2

If you believe the votes of all Canadians should count, you can find out more about meaningful electoral reform from your local Fair Vote Canada chapter or action group. If there isn’t one nearby, you can start your own, or simply print your own petition to present to your own MP.

If you do, don’t forget to let me know so I can blog about it 🙂

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A Black Mark for Peter Braid?

Invisible protesters? Or myopic MP?
The Black Mark Rally at Peter Braid’s office

Saturday’s Black Mark Budget protest at Kitchener-Waterloo MP Peter Braid’s office began at Noon.

When CTV asked Mr. Braid for a comment at 1:51 PM, The Member of Parliament replied:

Yet there were About 40 protesters attending the Waterloo Protest

I’m wondering where Mr. Braid was . . .

Perhaps he mislaid his office?

Maybe Mr. Braid should look at this issue a little more carefully.

By contrast, Kitchener Centre MP Stephen Woodworth is reputed to have treated his protesters to coffee.

next Casseroles Night In Canada

June 6th, 2012

Because *all* Canadians deserve civil rights *and* accessible education.



Videos

Un grand tonnerre / A great thunder / Un gran trueno

Casseroles Night in Canada / La soirée des casseroles au Canada / 30 Mai 2012



Image Credit
Photographs by Anita Nickerson, used with permission

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