Reminding Liberals Rally!

First a few words about voter equality from GPO leader Mike Schreiner:

March 2nd will be a busy day.

Everyone who hasn’t should sign the e-616 Petition… it closes for signature at at 11:20 a.m. (EDT) Thursday March 2nd, 2017.

And then, later in the day, anyone in Waterloo Region who can make it out ought to come out to welcome the Hon. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage to Waterloo Region.  The “welcoming committee” is being organized by our Fair Vote Waterloo friend, Sharon Sommerville, to remind the Liberal minister that Canadians still expect Proportional Representation by 2019.  Here’s the invite:

Reblogged from Fair Vote Waterloo

The Hon. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage will be joining Waterloo Region Liberal MPs for a meet & greet at St. John the Evangelist Church, 23 Water Street in Kitchener.

With five Liberal MPs, including two cabinet ministers in one place at one time, we thought we should take this opportunity to remind Liberal politicians that reneging on the promise to end First Past The Post and make every vote count will have consequences.

The meet and greet starts at 6:00 pm, so we will gather at St. John the Evangelist Church (basement entrance on Duke Street) at 5:45 pm. If all the MPs arrive on time, we will rally until 6:15 pm. Bring horns, tooters, drums, signs or funny hats, whatever you like to make a point; we are here, we are disappointed and we aren’t going to forget that you broke your promise to make every vote count.

What: Reminding Liberals Rally
When: Thursday, 2 March 2017 from 5:45pm to 6:15pm
Where: St. John the Evangelist Church, Duke Street entrance
Location: 23 Water St N, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada Map

See you there?

And, the Meet & Greet with the Hon. Mélanie Joly is a public event. If you would like to attend and speak with local Liberal MPs or the Hon. Mélanie Joly about their broken electoral reform promise, please RSVP at Liberal Party of Canada » Meet and Greet with the Hon. Mélanie Joly

Facebook Event Page

I have been doing some “reminding” of my own.  I’ve just put together 2 short videos to remind Waterloo’s MP, the Hon Bardish Chagger, currently Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism and the Member of Parliament for the riding of Waterloo of the assurances she gave voters about her commitment to Electoral Reform when she was only a candidate in the 3rd place party:

Bardish Chagger: an Electoral System based on the Principle of Fairness

and

Bardish Chagger: Four Questions

I myself can’t make it out to this, so I’m hoping you can go and maybe even give my regards to the Minister.  And maybe get a few pictures 🙂

Why Online Voting is a Bad Idea for #ERRE

ballot-boxComputer security people will be able to tell you:

You can have a secret ballot OR a secure system, but not both. Internet banking and commerce can be secure, but only because the bank knows who the customer is.

Fair Vote Waterloo says:
On Referenda, Consultations, and Postcards

Australian Computer Expert Vanessa Teague:
Election explainer: why can’t Australians vote online

Daily Dot takes a much more technical look:
Online voting is a cybersecurity nightmare

“The” computer security expert, Bruce Schneier agrees:
More Voting Machine News

Barbara Simons asks: Why can’t we vote online?

Online voting is one of the things Canada’s ERRE Special Committee on Electoral Reform has been tasked with studying, so WRGreens own Bob Jonkman framed this important issue in the Canadian context in his Submission to the ERRE Consultation:

“I am opposed to electronic voting and online voting. I am a computer consultant by profession, and nothing I see in my work shows that people’s home computers or even the computers in most businesses have the security capable of upholding the Integrity requirement, ensuring reliable and verifiable results.

“The main issue with online voting is not computer security, but a fundamental incompatibility between voter identity and the secret ballot.

“When voting takes place outside of a polling station it is important that voter identity is established to prevent fraud. It must be provable that the ballot filled in online was actually filled in by a registered voter, and not by someone impersonating that voter. To achieve this, voters need to be issued a ballot with a serial number or barcode to ensure that only that one ballot is filled in for that registered voter. But if every ballot cast has a serial number, then the completed ballot with the voter’s choices is identifiable with the voter’s name and registration information. The secret ballot is impossible, and the Integrity criterion cannot be met.

“When voting does not take place in a polling station then it is possible that a voter will be coerced into voting according to the demands of the “head” of the household, or voting at the workplace according to the employer’s demands. Without the scrutiny of Elections Canada, voting integrity cannot be ensured.

“But computer security is an issue too. People’s personal computers are constantly being attacked by computer viruses, malicious web sites, and denial of service attacks from compromised Webcams. And spam. The difficulty of ensuring online voting integrity is at least as great as is the difficulty of eliminating spam (unsolicited, unwanted e‑mail, sometimes commercial in nature, sent in bulk). If you haven’t experienced problems with spam then it is likely your E‑mail Service Provider is filtering your e‑mail for you – but how many good messages are being filtered accidentally? You’ll never know, because you’ll never see them.

“There are actually very few large-scale spammers on the Internet, maybe a couple of dozen at most. But they’re responsible for almost all the unwanted e‑mail that clogs up billions of e‑mail accounts in the world. It shows how a few bad actors on the Internet can completely overwhelm an e‑mail system. Similarly, a few bad actors on the Internet can completely compromise an online voting system. If we can’t secure our mail systems to solve the spam problem, it is unlikely that we’ll be able to secure everyone’s computer to guarantee online voting integrity.

“It is unfortunate that there were so few computer security experts providing witness testimony to the Committee. Almost every computer security expert who has commented on electronic voting since the U.S. “hanging chad” elections in 2000 has decried the use of voting machines, and, more recently, online voting. Voting machines are regularly compromised, are not auditable by design (they have proprietary source code), and are prone to failure when needed most. Computer security lecturers delight their audiences with tales of voting machine touch screens that dodge the target when the “wrong” vote is selected, or that play marching band music after they’ve been compromised by a prankish hacker.

“Voting is very much different from buying a product from an online store. If the wrong product is delivered, the store will ship the right product the next day to ensure customer satisfaction. But if the wrong candidate is elected, there is no recourse the next day. It is unlikely that fraud will be detected until the voting machines are audited many weeks after the election, and even when fraud is detected the outcome will be hotly contested by the affected candidates. In fact, if voting machines don’t use publicly published open source code then it is likely election outcomes will be hotly contested because proving that no fraud was committed is impossible.
Bob Jonkman working in the WRGreens office
“However, vote tabulation by machine is perfectly acceptable, although there must be a requirement that vote tabulators are also audited and their source code is made public. Ballots designed for vote tabulators (optical mark cards) can always be counted manually if the electronic tabulation is in dispute.”

— Bob Jonkman:  Electoral Reform — My Submission to the #ERRE Committee

Here’s hoping the #ERRE Committee puts Online Voting aside until it might be accomplished securely.

WRGreens visit Brantford-Brant Greens #ERRE

Greens in Brantford ~ Ken Burns, Temara Brown, Jason Shaw, Bob Jonkman ~ ERRE Community Dialogue

On Sunday, October 2nd the The Brantford-Brant Women’s, Youth and Seniors’ Liberal Clubs hosted the multi-partisan Brantford-Brant Electoral Reform Community Forum in the Odeon Building at the Laurier Brantford campus.

[Note: the CPC MP attended and spoke at the LPC event, and of course Greens were there by invitation as well.  Where was the NDP I wonder?]
Temara Brown explains electoral systems

Temara Brown described the six different electoral systems, a fairly difficult task, particularly when being challenged by unruly audience members at every turn.  But she carried it off. Temara Brown, Cambridge GPO
The event followed the usual Library of Parliament script for Community Dialogue suggested by ERRE.
Small Group Discussions
The Brantford Expositor covered the event in Forum puts spotlight on electoral reform

Bob Jonkman chats with LPC Ray Wong
Unfortunately there are some errors in the Expositor article. For instance, Michele Braniff was the 2015 GPC candidate.  As well as being a GPO Candidate, Temara Brown is the GPO’s Shadow Cabinet member for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

The article gives a capsule rundown of the 6 electoral Systems discussed, where the worst error in the article mischaracterizes the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system as “A variation of the preferential vote”.   Electoral systems are complex,  which is one of the many reasons why a referendum would be a bad idea at the best of times.

Historically, STV predates AV by a few decades, so it would be more correct to say AV is a variation of STV.  But that’s just semantics. The real problem is that STV is perhaps the best system of Proportional Representation, while AV is a winner-take-all system much like our First Past The Post.
Post Community Dialogue dialogue, with Jason Shaw (FVC) and Temara Brown (WRGreens Cambridge)
Even so, it was nice to see some balanced coverage of the ERRE event.  For the most part, Canada’s Main Stream Media is making no bones about it’s desire to retain the status quo.  That is perhaps the biggest reason Canadians are so woefully uninformed about electoral reform options.  Instead of informing Canadians of our options, or even actually reporting on the ERRE consultation process, the media tables at ERRE consultation events are standing empty.  So kudos to the Expositor for reporting the news!

 

Ken Burns (Brantford-Brant candidate), Temara Brown (WRGreens Cambridge GPO Candidate), Jason Shaw (Fair Vote Canada) and Bob Jonkman (WRGreens Kirchener-Copnestoga and Fair Vote Waterloo)
Ken Burns (Brantford-Brant), Temara Brown (WRGreens Cambridge GPO Candidate), ________, ________, Jason Shaw (Fair Vote Canada) and Bob Jonkman (WRGreens Kitchener-Conestoga and Fair Vote Waterloo Co-Chair)

In spite of the Main Stream Media obstructionism, the process marches quietly on.

And a good thing, too.

 

Understanding Electoral Reform in Elmira

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

img_9267New Hamburg Branch
145 Huron St
New Hamburg, ON N3A 1S3

Thursday, September 29th, 2016
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Ayr Branch
137 Stanley St
Ayr, ON N0B 1E0

Celebrate Democracy Week in Waterloo Region

Monsef Federal Electoral Reform Community Dialogue Tour ~ print version
Waterloo Region Monsef Federal Electoral Reform Community Dialogue Tour poster ~ print ~ Click for more sizes ~

If Waterloo Region had a GPC Member of Parliament, we could look forward to having our own Green Electoral Reform Town Hall.  Instead, Waterloo Region has 4 Liberal MPs and 1 Conservative MP.  All 5 Waterloo Region MPs managed to attend the Climate Change Town Hall.  Unfortunately we won’t see the same for Electoral Reform.

All 5 Waterloo Region MPs attended the Climate Change Town Hall
All 5 Waterloo Region MPs attended the Climate Change Town Hall

ERRE Committee in TorontoAlthough the ERRE Special Committee on Electoral Reform is conducting a Canada wide tour, apparently it will only effect a single stop in the most populous province in the land.  And that won’t be in Northern Ontario, but rather in the most populous city, Toronto, leaving the rest of the province out of the loop.   The Minister of Democratic Institutions is trying to augment the Committee’s limited itinerary with a complimentary tour of her own, which will visit many more spots.

Every MP in Parliament has been is tasked with hosting a Town Hall to consult with their constituents about electoral reform.  Unfortunately, Kitchener-Conestoga MP has chosen to mail out a form letter questionaire (read: advertisement) encouraging citizens who have no idea of the alternatives to rally around a referendum (the CPC strategy intended to derail our long overdue electoral reform).

As I understand it, instead of 4 Liberal Town Hall consultations in Waterloo Region, the 4 LPC MPs will join the Honourable Maryam Monsef in one big Town Hall event on Wednesday Night.

This will be our only official ERRE Event, so though the event is being put on by Liberal MPs for a Liberal Government, everyone who can attend should attend to support Proportional Representation in the only opportunity we’ll have for face to face Government engagement on this most important reform.

Federal Electoral Reform Community Dialogue Tour
Wednesday, 14 September 14th, 2016
7:00pm — 9:00pm
at the Stanley Park Community Centre
505 Franklin Street North, Kitchener  (~ MAP~)
Please RSVP online or call +1-519-741-2001

This is a must attend event for electoral reform supporters.

There are plenty of reasons for the Green Party to support Proportional Representation, the chief being that the disproportional power the winner-take-all party gets comes at the expense of smaller parties like the GPC. There are things we can do to help Canada along the path to truly representative government:

You might find the electoral reform series I’m writing to help demystify Proportional Representation useful.  If you don’t have time for the whole thing, probably the most useful articles are:

Share the graphics to help spread the word!

Do you know anyone who needs their own poster in other parts of Canada?

Share the DIY posters below: all they have to do is fill in the event details!

Federal Electoral Reform Community Dialogue Tour ~ Waterloo Region online
WRegion Monsef Tour ~ online version ~ Click for more sizes ~
DIY Federal Electoral Reform Community Dialogue Tour ~ online version
DIY Monsef Tour ~ online version ~ Click for more sizes ~
Do It Yourself Federal Electoral Reform Community Dialogue Tour ~ print version
DIY Monsef Tour ~ print version ~ Click for more sizes ~

ontario-border

Print & Share our WRGreens

Canada’s Voting System Is Changing

Community Dialogue Poster too!

Can you imagine a better way to celebrate Democracy Week?

Canada's Voting System Is Changing poster
Canada’s Voting System Is Changing
~ click for larger size ~ Print & post WRGreens Community Dialogue
FVC Electoral Reform Info Sessions poster
You can also print and post posters for the Waterloo Region Library Fair Vote Events ~ click for large size ~

Electoral Reform Events!

Kitchener Public Library

September 8th ~ Kitchener Public Library Special Event on Electoral Reform #ERRE

Understanding Electoral Reform

TONIGHT 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm ~ September 8th, 2016

Kitchener Public Library
Meeting Room C ~ Central Branch ~ 85 Queen St N, Kitchener, ON N2H 2H1 map
REGISTER here




September 14th, 2016

monsef-wr

“You’re invited to join the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions, at a series of federal electoral reform community dialogue events across Canada. These events, which complement the work of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, are intended to raise awareness of electoral reform and provide an opportunity for you to engage in discussion with others about the future of Canada’s democracy.

These events will be hosted in English and French in physically accessible venues. No pre-registration is required, but note that seats will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Can’t make it to one of these events? Find out about other electoral reform events happening across Canada on our calendar of events. You may also wish to learn more about federal electoral reform or check out resources to help you host your own community dialogue.”

Federal electoral reform community dialogue tour




September 17th @WR_Greens hosts a Community Dialogue on Electoral Reform
Join us for a community dialogue about proportional representation and electoral reform!

Canada’s Voting System is ChangingCarl Zehr Square ~ Kitchener City Hall

3:00pm – 4:30pm ~ Saturday September 17th, 2016

Carl Zehr Square, in front of Kitchener City Hall
200 King St W, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada map

RSVP on the Facebook Event:
Community Dialogue: Proportional Representation




September 21, 2016
Waterloo Region Library
& Fair Vote Waterloo presentElmira Library

Understanding Electoral Reform
6:30 – 8:00 pm ~ WEDNESDAY September 21st, 2016

Elmira Library
65 Arthur St S, Elmira, ON N3B 2M6, Canada  map




September 28th, 2016
Waterloo Region Library
& Fair Vote Waterloo presentlibrary card catalogue

Understanding Electoral Reform
6:30 – 8:00 pm ~ Wednesday September 28th, 2016

New Hamburg Library
145 Huron St, New Hamburg, ON N3A 1S3, Canada map




September 29th, 2016
Waterloo Region Library
& Fair Vote Waterloo presentlibrary shelves

Understanding Electoral Reform
6:30pm – 8:00 pm ~ Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Ayr Library
137 Stanley St, Ayr, ON N0B 1E0, Canada map

 


Image Credits

All images © copyright Laurel L. Russwurm are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license