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December 11, 2008

Fair Vote Canada Chapter Forming in Peterborough: Seeking Board Members, Volunteers, Members

As I noted in my last post, Emily Berrigan is launching a Peterborough Chapter of Fair Vote Canada.

What follows is her letter to the citizens of Peterborough.

I thoroughly support this initiative and will be getting involved.

- Ann

Dear Fellow Citizen:

Whew, what a whirlwind! I was sitting in a café, and I overheard a snippet of a conversation about all the hubbub in Ottawa. "Finally, Canadian politics is interesting!"

This sentence signals so much about the state of Canadian politics and Canadian democracy today. Low voter turnout and strategic voting is just the tip of the iceberg. More and more Canadians feel that their government is disconnected from the issues that matter, and for good reason. The way we vote says a lot about how our government operates, and when we have essentially a horse-race system (First-Past-the-Post), many people's voices are left behind.

For example, in the recent election…

  • The NDP received 1.1 million more votes than the Bloc, but the voting system granted the regional party 50 seats and the NDP 37.
  • A quarter-million Conservative voters in Toronto elected zero Conservative representation. There is no Conservative voice in Montreal either.
  • In the prairies, Conservatives received twice the vote of the Liberals and the NDP, and took seven times as many seats.
  • The Green Party set a record for the most votes cast for a party with no parliamentary representation, with 940,000 supporters. In contrast, 813,000 Conservative voters in Alberta elected 27 MPs.

To quote an Albertan Conservative and recent member of Fair Vote Canada,  "The idea is not to win an election but have a government that is effective." Currently, Canada has a winner-take-all system, meaning that those who do not vote for the winner have little to no representation in government. Often this means little representation for women, aboriginals, youth and visible minorities.

It should be about voices; not about power.

The push for electoral reform is building, and I would like to contribute to this by helping form a local Peterborough riding chapter of Fair Vote Canada (FVC). FVC is a multi-partisan organization that believes that, to provide a fair and equal voice for every citizen in Canada, our voting system must be designed to achieve:

  • Proportional representation
  •  Fair representation for women, minorities, aboriginals and any underrepresented group you can think of (youth!)
  • Accountable government
  • Geographic representation
  • Voter choice

If you are interested in joining in this, either as an executive member or as a volunteer, please get in touch. My contact information is below.

If you are interested in learning more, please visit Fair Vote Canada:


FVC's Statement of Purpose

Women for Fair Voting

Top Ten Low Points in Canadian Federal Elections

To make it perfectly clear, this is to be a multi-partisan organization. It is for electoral reform solely and citizens of ALL political stripes that want to see change are encouraged to join. This will not serve as a soapbox for any political party.

Please forward this on to friends and family in the area.

Yours in democracy,

Emily "Moe" Berrigan

2008 Green Party candidate for Peterborough Citizen of Canada


H (705) 745 – 0496
C (705) 772 – 8378 (VERT)


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Wayne, I apologize for not replying sooner. The documents above explain things better than I can. Basically, we're talking about replacing the "first past the post" system with a system that more accurately reflects the political choices made by Canadians. If 30 percent vote for the purple party, 30 percent of the members in the House of Commons would be members of the purple party. Etc.


What does all this really mean ? Sorry, for my ignorance !

Great news! Am an active volunteer with FVC.

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