The largest barrier to electing Greens has traditionally been our unfair winner-take-all electoral system that makes people feel they need to vote strategically for other parties because they are afraid Greens can’t get elected. It’s been an ongoing Catch-22 scenario: the reason Green candidates “can’t” get elected is because too many supporters don’t vote Green because they’re afraid Green candidates can’t get elected. Fortunately that is all changing as Canadians are finally starting to realize that not only can Canadian Greens get elected, even a single Green MP can make a huge difference.
One way to do that is by getting together to discuss the things we want to do and work out strategies to make that happen. Sometimes we have planning events, sometimes social events, and sometimes organizational events. Very often they are all of the above, like last week’s excellent monthly Regional Meeting at the Queen Street Commons Cafe where four of our five Waterloo Region ridings had representation.
Everyone from long time organizers to anyone curious about what Green means in Waterloo Region is welcome to attend WRGreens Regional meetings. Come out to find out what’s coming up, to volunteer or even just to share green thoughts. We had a report from the 2017 Green Party of Ontario AGM (Annual General Meeting) and discussed plans for upcoming events– like the one coming up this Sunday!
WRGreens will again be at Uptown Waterloo’s Open Streets. The @OSWaterloo organizers have been fantastically inventive in meeting the massive challenge of LRT roadworks and keeping the awesome summer festival vibrant. This year they’ve chosen to incorporate the Uptown Waterloo trails as the “street” venues, which will be seriously awesome.
They’ve also given each of the four festival dates a theme, and the first theme for Sunday June 18th (Father’s Day) the theme is “Word.”
If you are not a Canadian citizen but are resident in Canada you can sign.
You do not have to be resident in Canada to sign. My Australian electoral reform friends can’t sign, but Canadian citizens resident in Australia can.
You do not have to be old enough to vote to sign.
Young people who sign this now may be lucky enough to have their votes count when they are old enough.
But signing is not enough: you need is to confirm your valid email address before your signature will be added.
Our hope is to get the petition signature number as high as possible. 300,000 (about what the mydemocracy survey got) would be amazing.
I understand 240,000 would be fabulous, as that is 1% of Canadian voters.
The 122,981 signatures we have already are amazing.
This is the very first Parliamentary e-petition to top 100,000 signatures. That is the magic number that is supposed to trigger a Parliamentary debate.
The e-411 (Islam) petition only managed 69,742 signatures, and it resulted in Mr. Mulcair’s unanimously accepted Parliamentary Motion on October 6, 2016 as well as Ms. Khalid’s Motion 103 which resulted in HoC debate.
The higher we can get this number, the better. Read more about the petition here:
If you can share with your social network, that would be awesome.
And Green voters should sign, because we need Proportional Representation to have any hope of properly addressing Climate Change. The reason this issue is so important is that this is the foundation that must be laid for pretty much every issue Canadians face. Without fair representation we might as well not have democracy at all.
If every Canadian who voted Green in 2015 signed this petition, Greens alone could generate upwards of 600,000 signatures.
The Green Party doesn’t have a massive “war chest.” We don’t have corporate or union donors and the big advertising budgets they bring.
Our strength is in our grass roots… ordinary Canadians who think green thoughts. People who want a greener future. Not just for us, but for our kids. And posterity.
What we do have is ideas. Ideas worked out by members. Ideas expressed in policy, blogs, and multimedia. Because the Green Party doesn’t have big advertising budgets, it is very hard to get green ideas reported in Main Stream Media (MSM).
But we can get our ideas out there— if we work together.
You can help these ideas take root and grow by sharing them with your social media network.
Some people hesitate about sharing links to articles & videos. We worry that talking about politics online will alienate our family and friends. Let’s face it: we all have family and friends with different ideas. Some support other parties, and certainly many — probably even most — don’t support any party or even consider themselves political.
The Internet is still new enough that it’s easy to forget the reason it exists is to make it easy to exchange information.
Social Media is for sharing our interests with our family and friends. Maybe you’re a Green Party member, supporter, or even voter. But maybe you’re not, maybe you don’t like the Green Party candidate in your riding, maybe you don’t agree with everything in Green Party policy. But chances are good that anyone reading this is interested in at least some green ideas.
If we each share one green idea, article, or video on social media each day, we aren’t likely to alienate anyone. Especially as Facebook and Twitter have taken to limiting which of our posts our friends and family actually see. The beauty of social media sharing is that there is no need to argue or try to convert anyone. By sharing articles that resonate with us, we’re giving our friends and family an opportunity to learn what’s important to us — very often information they won’t see in the MSM. If they aren’t interested, they won’t read that article or watch that video. But maybe they will.
Even if they just skip over that Tweet or Facebook post, the fact you’ve shared it increases how far Twitter or Facebook will share. Even if our family and friends don’t read our blog articles, or look at our videos, or look at our graphics, you’ll help WRGreens increase our “Google juice” just by sharing.
Especially in a world where the first official act of the new American president was to take down the American Government Climate Change page, it becomes more and more evident we can no longer afford a way of life that puts corporate interests ahead of the public interest. We can’t put profits ahead of clean air and fresh water. So please, help us make social media work for us.
Waterloo Region Greens own Bob Jonkman will be presenting “Make every Vote Count” at the Elmira Branch of the Region of Waterloo Library, starting at 6:30pm, tomorrow night, Wednesday, September 21st, 2016. In his capacity as co-Chair, Bob helped develop the Fair Vote Waterloo presentation, which starts with our existing electoral system as well as Canada’s electoral reform options. There will be a question and answer session after the presentation.
Hope to see you there!
Next week there will be two more Information Sessions at the Region of Waterloo Libraries in New Hamburg and Ayr.
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 ~ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
“For the past month I’ve been traveling across Canada hearing from Canadians directly on the values and expectations they feel should be reflected in Canada’s electoral system.
At every stop, it is clear; Canadians expect greater inclusion, transparency, engagement and modernization from their public institutions.”
— The Hon. Maryam Monsef,
Minister of Democratic Institutions ~ Ottawa, ON, Sept. 15, 2016
Hundreds of Waterloo Region residents crowded into the Stanley Park Community Centre on Wednesday night for a chance to participate in the Federal Electoral Reform Consultation with the the Honourable Maryam Monsef, the Minister of Democratic Institutions. Ms. Monsef shared the stage with local LPC Mps, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Bryan May, Marwan Tabbara and Kitchener Centre host, Raj Saini, But the evening’s main course was the small group dialogues where participants considered issues and shared their views. Each group came up with a series of conclusions, all of which were duly passed along for consideration in Ottawa. The Record‘s Luisa D’amato reports:
As I felt the unmistakable sense of optimism that comes when a powerful person asks your opinion, it occurred to me that we might have got it wrong all this time.
We’ve asked young people to vote, and shook our heads when they didn’t. “Don’t complain if you don’t vote,” we said.
Yet the rules by which we held the elections seemed designed to silence their choices.
Julia and Sam (Kitchener Centre Greens) are passionate about meaningful electoral reform. The shape of their future depends on it. They’re the driving force behind our Canada’s Voting System Is Changing event at Kitchener City Hall tomorrow.
The main goal of tomorrow’s event is to provide public information about our options.
Every MP in Canada has been asked to consult with their constituents about what they would like to see in terms of electoral reform. Although our evening with Ms. Monsef was excellent, it would have been nice to see 4 Liberal Town Halls. Knowing how long it took me to get my head around electoral reform, more events might make it easier for many citizens.
Earlier in the year the Waterloo NDP put on an information event with Fair Vote Waterloo, but now it’s our turn.
Proportional Representation is not a partisan issue; it is simply a way to better represent citizens in Parliament. This isn’t about parties, but about what is best for all of us, the voters. That’s why each of these events have worked hard to put partisanship aside in order to both inform and converse with the public.
So many other countries have adopted meaningful electoral reform that there’s a lot of information out there. And yet, Canadians have heard almost nothing about the alternatives before us.
That’s why Fair Vote Waterloo co-chair Sharon Sommerville will give an introductory talk about Proportional Representation. Then we’ll break into small group discussions, much like Maryam Monsef’s National Electoral Reform Community Dialogue Tour the other night. We have decided to have two kinds of groups; one to help those of us just beginning to learn about Proportional Representation, and another for those who have an idea of what kind of reform they would like to see. The latter will be able to discuss the issue as a group in order to make a group submission we can forward on to the ERRE Committee.
Even if you have a pretty good handle on Electoral Reform, we look forward to seeing you in Carl Zehr Square. It is always a lot more fun to work on a submission together, and it is amazing how much discussion can help clarify the things we’re fuzzy on. The more Canadians participate in this electoral reform process, the better the outcome will be.
This is a perfect opportunity to help your friends and neighbors get the facts about electoral reform. We hope to see you there!
Canada’s Voting System Is Changing: Community Dialogue
Saturday September 17th, 2016
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Carl Zehr Square, in front of Kitchener City Hall
200 King St W, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada map
Kitchener City Hall Rotunda
200 King St. W., Kitchener
Kitchener, N2G 4G7, Canada
All five MPs in Waterloo Region are teaming up for this multi-constituency consultation. We need you to commit now to attend this most important of consultations!
We’ll show our support for the People’s Climate Plan. Organizers with the People’s Climate Plan are calling for the national climate strategy that respects climate science and Canada’s commitments in the Paris Agreement, ensures a plan to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050, and enshrines justice for all workers and Indigenous communities.
Referendum talk is beginning to overshadow the real need of getting our everyday democracy into the hands of voters. Referendums work only with an engaged citizenry that is informed by a fair and unbiased media.
Truth is, every referendum on electoral reform has been sabotaged by misinformation from elite power brokers who like our flawed voting system, which promotes their will over the citizens at large. They are the ones that oppose real democracy.
To claim reform needs a referendum is to believe all major decisions should have a true majority of citizens’ consent. That’s what we’d routinely have for every decision, if we had a government with proportional representation (PR). Globally, most democracies have changed to PR voting systems.
A dozen committees and commissions already conducted in Canada all conclude that PR is needed for a government that really represents voters’ intentions. I don’t want smoke-and-mirrors propaganda derailing the public from what is in their best interest. I don’t need a referendum hijacked, again, by big money and the elite to keep our biased system that mostly works for them.
I just want a real democratic institution with proportional representation that reflects the will of the people it is supposed to serve.
David Weber was the Kitchener South—Hespeler Green Party candidate during the 2015 federal election. This letter appeared in The May 25th, 2016 Record
You’re invited to join us for the Kitchener—Conestoga & Kitchener South Hespeler Annual General Meeting
Date: May 1, 2016
Time: 7 pm
Place: Huether Hotel
Barley Works, upper “Operations Room”
59 King Street North, Waterloo, ON, N2J 2X2
Please join other area supporters for our Annual General Meeting at 7 pm on Sunday May 1st, where we will elect our local Green Party executive for the upcoming year and discuss direction and plans for the future.
It is important that we strengthen our membership, engage our fellow citizens, and promote electing Green candidates. For these reasons, we encourage you to consider running for one of the positions on the Executive Board. The positions are not overly demanding of your time. The goal is to meet occasionally, organize info tables at local events staffed by volunteers, and ensure a Green presence in our community all year round.
The following positions on the Executive Board are open, with the first three being the most essential:
Chief Executive Officer (GPC) or President (GPO)
Chief Financial Officer
You must be a member of the Green Party of Canada or the Green Party of Ontario in order to vote or stand for a position on the corresponding executive at the AGM. Don’t miss out on the fun!
Any person whose membership has lapsed within the last year may renew their membership at the meeting to acquire voting privileges. It’s preferable to do this online at the Green Party of Ontario website at gpo.ca or at the Green Party of Canada website greenparty.ca.
Contact David Weber (AGM organizer) for more information at 519-591-5773 or email@example.com. Hope to see you there!