In the aftermath of the 2015 federal election, we heard two messages loud and clear from members of the Leadnow community: first, relief and celebration that the Harper Conservatives had been defeated; and second, calls for electoral reform.
Together, we can send a signal to the new government that thousands of people across Canada support a strong, fair and proportional voting system and that they will be part of the people-powered movement to make sure every vote counts.
As we emerge from the dark years of the Harper government, and look forward to a new era in Ottawa, we know there will be growing opposition to electoral reform and a steep hill to climb past the naysayers and status quo spin doctors who want to keep things the way they’ve been.
But that’s why we’re here – a community that includes people from all of the political parties, and many people who don’t identify with any party – a community that is up for the challenge of making the most this once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a stronger, better, proportional electoral system – a community that is ready to reshape our democracy from the bottom up.
The Leadnow community has proven that we can execute on a high-risk, complex campaign, and that we can engage millions with our people-power. Here are just some ideas of what’s in store:
A broad-based education and awareness campaign to help people understand the different options for electoral reform.
Tools, training and support to connect our community members with each other to engage their newly-elected Members of Parliament in this important conversation – from the grassroots up.
Graphics, video and other materials to counter the inevitable fear and disinformation campaign from players who have long-benefitted from our winner-take-all system.
We’ve got lots of work to do to prepare a major campaign to reach millions of people across Canada. In the meantime, let’s keep momentum building.
Here are three of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about electoral reform:
1. What kind of electoral reform is Leadnow proposing?
In order to fix our broken democracy, we need to look to a more fair and proportional system where a party that receives 39% of the popular vote could expect to occupy 39% of the seats in the House of Commons.
Dozens of countries around the world use some form of a proportional voting system designed to accommodate the unique needs and priorities of its citizens. We are confident that the Government of Canada’s all-party committee, with input from experts and ordinary citizens alike, will be able to design a model that accounts for Canada’s regional diversity as well as the unique roles that Québécois and Indigenous Peoples play within the confederation.
Leadnow commissioned a poll back in 2013 that showed 70% of people supporting some type of proportional voting system. In November of last year, we undertook a community survey to get a sense of the diverse opinions and preferences of Leadnow members. Now, we’re designing campaigning and organizing opportunities to share what we’ve learned and make sure the voices of our members are heard.
2. Will you be working with Fair Vote Canada?
Fair Vote Canada has been at the forefront of the call for a fair, proportional electoral system for over a decade. We know that many Leadnow members are also supporters of Fair Vote Canada and of other organizations working hard to improve and strengthen our democratic institutions. We collaborating with our friends and allies in these organizations through the Every Voter Counts Alliance, making the most of the different strengths we all bring to the table.
3. Where can I learn about different voting systems?
PR, MMP, STV, AV+, RB – electoral reform can seem like an alphabet soup of acronyms. As with past complex issues the Leadnow community has campaigned on – from omnibus bills, and trade deals to protecting our fundamental rights and freedoms, we will continue to be a source of quality, well-researched and easy-to-understand information by producing compelling and shareable emails, blog posts, graphics and videos.