#KeepYourPromise Tour: Debate or Discourse?

We Greens know better than anyone just why we need electoral reform.  But we also know how important it is to work across party lines.  And this is one of those times.

This is the last full week for the five By-elections.

Perhaps the strongest message Canadians can send the Trudeau Government ~ especially the many Canadian Liberals waiting for the promised electoral reform ~ would be to keep the Liberal By-election candidates in contested ridings from going to Ottawa.

While such tactical voting wouldn’t topple the Liberal majority, when the dust settles Mr. Trudeau and his Caucus would know just how serious Canadians ~ including the Liberals who gave them their majority ~ are about Proportional Representation.

Unfortunately we do know how hard it is to make our wishes known at the ballot box with our inequitable winner-take-all system, so we can’t count on achieving that goal.  Which is why we need to help keep the pressure up any way we can.

That’s why Waterloo Region Greens are encouraged to come out to the Kitchener Public Library to catch the Waterloo Region visit of Elizabeth May’s #ERRE colleague Nathan Cullen.  The ERRE Committee’s NDP Co-Chair is crossing Canada to visit Liberal ridings to demonstrate how much support there actually is for electoral reform with his #KeepYourPromise Tour.

For this Waterloo Region event, Mr. Cullen has invited Kitchener—Centre Liberal MP Raj Saini to join him for discussion or debate.  We know Mr. Saini did an excellent job explaining the virtues of Proportional Representation (and outlining the process the Liberal Party would undertake to make it happen) at the #KitCen Electoral Reform debate held by Fair Vote Waterloo during the election.  Perhaps Mr. Saini can explain what went wrong, or why the Liberal Party failed to support the Electoral Reform promise as he assured us he would, or even why he’s changed his tune now that his party has its own phony majority.  Will MP Raj Saini be brave enough to face his constituents on this?

What we all need to remember is the reason Mr. Trudeau made his
Last First Past The Post promise (and repeated it in the Throne Speech, then launched the Electoral Reform Consultation) in the first place was because there is a lot of Liberal support for Proportional Representation.  Back in December of 2015, the majority of sitting LPC MPs voted with the NDP to adopt Proportional Representation.  Enough for Stéphane Dion to design his own Proportional system.  And, as Bardish Chagger told Waterloo voters during her Electoral Reform Debate in Waterloo, there was overwhelming support for the electoral reform policy resolution that Mr. Trudeau’s electoral reform promise was based on.  So please, bring along your Liberal friends too!

“There’s one last vote on electoral reform in Parliament before the May deadline. After that, it could be too late to set up a new voting system in time for the next election.

This spring, MPs will vote on whether to accept the recommendations of the Canada-wide consultation tour, including that the government hold a referendum where Canadians can choose between the current voting system and a proportional one.

We just need 20 Liberal MPs to keep their promise and vote YES to electoral reform.

Nathan Cullen

Send your friends and family in other parts of Canada to the NDP website [http://keepyourpromise.ndp.ca/] to learn when the Broken Promise Tour will be coming their way!

Help convince Liberal MPs to keep their promise and vote YES to electoral reform before the May vote.

Three Ways to Help Canada win this vote!

#1 Bring your family and friends ~ no matter what their politics are ~ along to hear what Nathan Cullen has to say.

#2 Circulate the Petition and ask your family, friends and neighbours to sign on.

Go door to door, or spend an hour or two with your clipboard outside City Hall, your grocery store, Speakers Corner etc.
Get signatures at family gatherings or local activities or events (ie after church, at PTA or service club meetings, fundraising events etc.)

Petition calling on the Government of Canada to keep its promise of electoral reform.

#3 Download & mail Nathan Cullen’s Postcard

Download the “Keep Your Promise” post card

Fair Vote Waterloo will surely have their lovely #KeepYourPromise postcards for Mr. Trudeau (and for Waterloo Region Greens in Kitchener Centre, they will likely have some Raj Saini a postcards).  You can even send your own letter to your Liberal MP (better yet, say it is an open letter and send a copy to the Record!)

Fair Vote Canada’s “Keep Your Promise” postcard, and our Waterloo Region Chapter’s postcard for Kitchener Centre MP Raj Saini quoting his own words from the 2015 Election campaign.

Electoral reform is not dead, the movement is growing.
Because every vote should count.



Photo Credit: Nathan Cullen portrait by Jonathan Allard released under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike License.

Painting By-Elections #Green!

Elections Canada is holding 5 By-Elections across Canada on April 3rd, 2017.

An excellent way for small parties to break through the disproportional elections barrier is by making a splash in a by-election.  During a general federal election, everyone has their own riding to think about.  But when there are By-elections, a grass root party like the Greens can build itself a major advantage by strengthening our network by beefing up our numbers with cross border cooperation.

Here’s the thing: if you can help get a neighbouring Green candidate elected during a by-election, it will be that much easier to get more Greens elected in 2019 ~ perhaps even the candidate in your own riding!.

There’s less than a week left!!!


QUÉBEC


Daniel Green

Daniel Green's GPC web page

@DanielGreen_PVC on Twitter

 Daniel Green - Parti vert du Canada

 

Saint-Laurent

 

email: daniel.green@partivert.ca


ONTARIO


Caryn Bergmann

Caryn Bergmann's Green Party web page

@carynbergmann

Markham—Thornhill

email: caryn.bergmann@greenparty.ca

“We need change, we need action, and we need strong leaders to help make it happen. There is only so much one person can do, but one person can do so much.”
— Caryn Bergmann


Nira Dookeran

Nira Dookeran's GPC web page

@OttVanierGreens (Nira Dookeran)

Nira Dookeran on Facebook page

 

Ottawa—Vanier

 

email: ottvan@greenparty.ca


ALBERTA


Ryan Zedic

Ryan Zedic GPC web pageRyan Zedic on Facebook

Calgary Midnapore

 

 

email: ryan.zedic@greenparty.ca


Taryn Knorren

Taryn KnorrenTaryn Knorren GPC Webpage@TarynKnorren on Twittertknorren on Instagram

Calgary Heritage

Elections Canada Riding Map

 

email: taryn.knorren@greenparty.ca


How To Help

For those living close by, volunteering your time, whether to:

  • organize,
  • help out at events,
  • hand out flyers,
  • knock on doors (canvass),
  • stuff envelopes,
  • put up signs,
  • to answer phones
  • or whatever …

…even just a few hours here and there could make all the difference.

Attend events & debates to cheer them on!

No matter where you live, donations will help any of these candidates.

The one thing Greens are not using to the fullest is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal: social media.

Many of us are frugal about sharing things to our social media feeds because we are concerned about annoying our friends.  What people don’t realize is that Facebook, Twitter etc. don’t show everything we post to all of our friends and followers.

Even if you live on the other side of the country and don’t know a soul in the candidate’s riding, liking, retweeting and sharing will help them … because the more people engage, the more the candidate’s Social Media platform will spread their posts to more of their own followers!

Do you want to see Green videos go viral?  Share them!

Do you want to build a meme?  Share it!

Twitter tip: a ❤ isn't as good as a Retweet.

Remember:  
EVERY time you share anything on Twitter or Facebook etc. you will be helping help increase the candidate’s social media reach ~ and increasing her odds of being elected!  .

Do you want to elect Green candidates?  Help make NOISE!

Help make HISTORY!

WRGreens Info Table at Cross Cultures Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Tues 21 March 2017

Cross Cultures | since 1991 © MagazineThis Tuesday please join us for Cross Cultures’ Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

What: Cross Cultures Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
When: Tuesday, 21 March 2017 from 8:45am to 8:45pm
Where: Rotunda, Kitchener City Hall
Location: 200 King Street West, Kitchener, Ontario Map

The event is on all day, with a huge attendance of local schoolkids presenting and participating until 2:00pm, talks and lectures all afternoon, and a Peace Vigil and Peace Concert in the evening.

If anyone would like to help staff our information table for a few hours, either morning or afternoon, please drop by.

There’s a schedule of events on the KWPeace Calendar Pick any time, there’s always something interesting happening.

– –Bob.

Problematic Canadian Senators


[reblogged from Whoa!Canada]

They call it “the Red Chamber” but it sure seems like Canadians have been singing the Senate Blues for most of my life.

In the dying days of the Harper Government, the misadventures of Senator Mike Duffy proved to be a major embarrassment for the Canadian Government.  By the time the dust settled, Duffy had resigned from the Conservative Caucus, the criminal charges against him were dropped, and Duffy, now an un-aligned independent, resumed his seat as Senator for PEI (even though he still doesn’t actually seem to live there). Then Prime Minister Stephen Harper was certainly mixed up in Mr. Duffy’s case, but was never properly investigated or held to account.

But Duffy’s case was just the tip of the iceberg. The Auditor General report identified thirty (THIRTY!) past and present Canadian senators or former senators as having “made inappropriate or ineligible expense claims.”  In addition to being implicated in the expense scandal, 39 year old Senator Patrick Brazeau had a host of still unresolved other problems.   About a year ago Press Progress shared an Angus Reid Opinion Poll that suggested only 6% of Canadians were happy with the Senate as is.

Senate Thrones

Real or Imagined?

Canada’s new Trudeau Government had ostentatiously promised, ahem, real change.

And yet, once again, there are Senators making news in ways that reflect very poorly on Canada’s Upper House.

Interim Conservative Party Leader Rona Ambrose has called for the resignation of Stephen Harper appointee Senator Don Meredith after Senate Ethics Officer Lyse Ricard’s investigation exposed his inappropriate sexual relationship with a teen.

Senator Meredith has made it abundantly clear he has no intention of going quietly, even though the other Senators are determined to expel Don Meredith after his relationship with teenage girl.

It has become increasingly clear that a code of conduct that hopes miscreants will quietly resign in the face of exposure is simply not sufficient. Real change requires a framework that allows for summary suspensions of Senators (and MPs) accused of impropriety and/or lawbreaking, removing them from office if such charges proven. Our Westminster System of government was designed for a feudal society that allowed the nobility to get away with a great deal.  But in a society that aspires to citizen equality there is no place for such abuses of power.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, now we learn Senator Lynn Beyak, member of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples  has spoken up in defence of the “abundance of good” in Residential Schools.

I speak partly for the record, but mostly in memory of the kindly and well-intentioned men and women and their descendants — perhaps some of us here in this chamber — whose remarkable works, good deeds and historical tales in the residential schools go unacknowledged for the most part and are overshadowed by negative reports. Obviously, the negative issues must be addressed, but it is unfortunate that they are sometimes magnified and considered more newsworthy than the abundance of good.

Honourable Lynn Beyak, Senate Debates: Increasing Over-representation of Indigenous Women in Canadian Prisons

As might be expected, Senator Beyak’s attitude has not gone over well.  CBC reports Senator’s residential school comment ‘hurts the integrity of the Canadian system,’ survivor says.  The Liberal Indigenous Caucus issued a statement asking Senator Beyak to “resign from the Senate as her views are inconsistent with the spirit of reconciliation that is required in both chambers of Parliament.”  Committee Chair Senator Lillian Eva Dyck agrees Senator Bayek’s should resign after her ill-informed and insensitive comments.

Even the United Church had some strong words for the Hon. Ms. Beyak:

“Indigenous peoples and organizations have responded to Senator Beyak’s comments. As one of the parties responsible for the operation of residential schools, The United Church of Canada also feels a responsibility to respond.

“Senator Beyak spoke of the “good intentions” behind the residential schools system. Thirty years ago, The United Church of Canada apologized to First Nations Peoples for our role in colonization and the destruction of their cultures and spiritualties. In the process of preparing, delivering, and attempting to live out that Apology, we have learned that “good intentions” are never enough, and that to offer such words in explanation is damaging and hurtful.

“The United Church of Canada participated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission not just as part of a legal agreement but also as part of a moral and ethical commitment to understand the impact of our role in the residential schools system, to atone for it, and to participate in healing and building of a new relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.”

— Moderator: Senator Beyak’s Comments on Residential Schools

Not everyone is right for every job, and it’s pretty clear to everyone but Senator Beyak that she is not a good fit for the Senate of Canada.  Again, there doesn’t seem to be any provision to remove her in spite of the growing outcry.  The longer this goes on, the worse the Senate, and, indeed the Government of Canada looks.

Canadians need a government capable of governing itself with decorum and accountability.

As often happens in Canada’s unrepresentative democracy, there is a Petition:

SIGN THE PETITION:
We demand the resignation of Senator Lynn Beyak and issuance of a formal apology

It seems Canada’s unfair First Past The Post electoral system continues to engender a political culture of shameless entitlement even (especially?) in our un-elected Senate. A democratic government that fails to answer to its citizens is seriously dysfunctional.


Image Credits

Senate photos by Makaristos have been dedicated to the public domain.  Click the images to find the originals on Wikimedia Commons.