Friday, June 02, 2006

500 Day for Democracy: Volunteers Needed for Ontario Referendum Campaign

Fair Vote Ontario -- 500 Days for Democracy

Volunteers Needed Now for Ontario Referendum Campaign

Dear Friends, Supporters and Members:

On October 4, 2007, you and other Ontarians will participate in a pivotal event for 21st century Canadian democracy.

On that day, we will vote in a referendum on a new provincial voting system – hopefully scrapping our hopelessly antiquated and dysfunctional first-past-the-post system and replacing it with a fair and proportional voting system.

The stakes are incredibly high. If we change the voting system, giving every Ontarian an equal and effective vote, we change the entire political arena. Also, if we change the voting system in Canada’s largest province, the political effect will be felt right across the country.

Last week, we passed day 500 in our countdown to the referendum. We now have just under 500 days to do everything possible to:

1) encourage the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform to recommend a proportional voting system, and

2) then mobilize public support to win the subsequent referendum.

Fair Vote Canada, a multi-partisan citizens’ organization, has organized the Fair Vote Ontario campaign to win this battle.

We already have several thousand members and supporters in Ontario. We already have active chapters in many areas, and more are being formed. But that’s just not enough. To make history on October 4, 2007, we need to mobilize an unprecedented multi-partisan network of citizen-volunteers who can help this campaign, in any number of ways, over the next 18 months.

If you can provide any volunteer support to the Fair Vote Ontario campaign between now and October 2007, please reply to this email (including your riding name and/or postal code).

How can you help?

June 2006 Priority: Contacting MPPs

Our priority in the next 30 days is for volunteers to contact their MPPs by email, letter, phone and/or in person, to press for a fair referendum process.

Both BC and PEI had similar referendums in the past year. In both cases, the premiers scrapped traditional democratic practice by setting super-majority thresholds for the referendum. They required the Yes vote to reach or exceed 60% to trigger implementation of their new proportional voting systems.

Premier McGuinty and the Leader of the Official Opposition have yet to announce if they will honour a majority decision by Ontarians. Our message to MPPs in the coming weeks is to apply the same democratic principle – simple majority rule – to this referendum decision by citizens that they apply to their own decision-making at Queen’s Park.

If we provide you with a fact sheet and support material, outlining why we need a fair referendum process, can you contact your MPP in the coming weeks? If so, please reply to this email today (including your riding name and/or postal code).

Other Volunteer Help Needed

Throughout the coming 18 months we will need an extensive network of volunteers throughout the province.

In the coming months, we’ll need contacts in every community to help with local speaking engagements for Fair Vote Ontario speakers, outreach to community groups, letters to the editor, recruiting new members, leaflet distribution, placement of articles in newsletters, and making local presentations to the Citizens’ Assembly next winter. If you can help, let us know what you can do, and we’ll add you to our action alert email list.

On behalf of the Fair Vote Ontario campaign council, we hope you will join with us, and with your fellow citizens from all backgrounds, viewpoints and parts of the province, to make fair voting a reality in Ontario. We look forward to working with you.

Yours for a strong democracy,

Joe Murray


Fair Vote Ontario

Fair Vote Canada
26 Maryland Blvd.
Toronto, ON M4C 5C9
Ph: 416-410-4034
Fax: 416-686-4929

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