In a uniquely Canadian exercise in democracy, a merry band of carolers stopped in front of Liberal MP Terry Sheehan’s office at noon on Tuesday, December 13th, 2016. The carol tunes were given some snappy new lyrics, and sung amid frigid temperatures and fierce winds. Leadnow.ca. organized a grassroots movement for Tuesday, December 13th as ‘Make Every Vote Count’ National Day of Action.
Sault Ste. Marie electoral reform advocates made an outstanding showing on a day such as it was. Sault Ste. Marie was among communities right across the country to voice concerns about voting reform. “From Charlottetown (PEI) to Victoria (BC) to Yellowknife (NWT) and the Yukon, citizens are visiting their MP’s offices today to present ‘The Promise’, just in case they need a reminder about how much we want it.” shared local advocate Erin Malone Heineman.
Open and fair elections were part of the Liberal government’s platform during the 2015 federal election campaign.
On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, the House of Commons created a Special Committee on Electoral Reform (ERRE) to research information about the current Canadian electoral system, different electoral systems, and to consult with experts and Canadian citizens through various formats, including town hall meetings, and surveys.
According to ‘Fair Vote Canada’, ‘Since its inception, the Special Committee on Electoral Reform has heard from over 150 Expert Witnesses. To date, of the 99 experts who expressed views on changing the electoral system, 89 were supportive of proportional representation. Only five supported the Alternative Vote – a system based on the use of ranked ballots in single-member ridings.’ fairvote.ca
ERRE Reports 1 & 2 titled ‘Electoral Reform’ were presented to the House, Monday Nov, 28th, 2016. December 1st, a third report titled: ‘Strengthening Democracy in Canada: Principles, Process and Public Engagement for Electoral Reform’ was presented to The House.
On December 8th, 2016, The House of Commons, Parliament 42, debated the contents of ERRE report: ‘Electoral Reform’. parl.gc.ca
“Here in The Sault, we are letting (MP) Terry Sheehan know that we support voting reform to make every vote count” shared Erin Malone.
In a media release, Leadnow.ca stated: ‘The electoral reform committee most recently recommended proportional representation with a referendum, reflecting the overwhelming support for proportional representation from the public and experts. On Tuesday, people across the country are holding emergency actions at Liberal MP offices to demand that the government keep their promise on voting reform. We need to show them that people across the country — including the progressive voters who helped elect them — won’t let them get away with backtracking on voting reform.’ act.leadnow.ca
Holiday carolling continued until people could no longer feel their feet…