PoliBlog

Bob Jonkman's thoughts on politics

Electoral Reform — My Submission to the #ERRE Committee

Posted by Bob Jonkman on October 7th, 2016

To: Special Committee on Electoral Reform

From: Bob Jonkman
6 James Street
Elmira, Ontario
Canada N3B 1L5

Summary:

* I’m in favour of any electoral system that provides a proportional outcome.
* I’m opposed to a referendum.
* I’m opposed to mandatory voting.
* I’m opposed to online voting or using voting machines.

Submission:

I am the Co-Chair for the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter, and was a Green Party candidate in the 2015 Federal Election. Since the 2007 Ontario referendum on Electoral Reform I have been advocating for a proportional representation system at all levels of government by speaking with fellow citizens at local festivals, information booths, and community dialogues.

However, I submit this brief personally, as one individual citizen. Although my views have been shaped by working for advocacy groups and speaking with others, this brief represents my views alone.

The First-Past-The-Post system does not meet any of your (the Special Committee on Electoral Reform’s) principles for electoral reform:
* FPTP is not effective or legitimate: 39% of the vote should not result in a majority in Parliament.
* FPTP suppresses voter engagement: People don’t bother to vote when results aren’t effective or legitimate.
* FPTP is not inclusive: More than half of the voters are not represented by someone they voted for.
* FPTP undermines integrity: While election results are verifiable, there is little public trust that those results reflect the voters’ will.
* FPTP does not result in local representation: Anyone who did not vote for the winning candidate is not adequately represented.

Proportional Representation will fix all these problems. It does not matter much to me what kind of electoral system is chosen, as long as the outcome is proportional, that the party allocation of seats in Parliament reflect the proportion of votes cast nationally, and that all votes count equally.

There is no need for a referendum; the decision to eliminate the First-Past-The-Post voting system has already been made by the voters in the previous election.

I won’t detail the mechanics of any preferred electoral system, that is best left to an expert group which can be appointed as part of Elections Canada to implement the recommendations of this Committee. I do want to indicate my preference for multi-member districts, with votes counted by a Single Transferable Vote system.

Of course, the larger the multi-member district, the better the proportionality, but larger districts mean poorer local representation. There is no need to have all multi-member districts be the same size, or have the same number of representatives, or have the same population. A maximum district size of 10-15 current ridings in densely populated areas would ensure that even smaller parties are represented, while still having Members of Parliament accessible to all citizens. Sparsely populated areas can have larger areas with fewer members. A smaller province or territory can form an entire multi-member district.

Perhaps to better meet the Local Representation criterion a Mixed Member Proportional voting system can be used; again, densely populated districts can be made up of 10-15 current ridings. There is no need to have all districts be the same size, or have the same ratio of single-member ridings to top-up members, the better to adapt to the different populations and geographic size of different areas of Canada.

Do not create an unnecessary division of voters, as the Urban-Rural voting system proposal would do. Canada is a population of many groups, cultures, religions, and economic conditions; formalizing a divide between urban and rural areas by having one voting system for urban populations and a different voting system for rural populations violates the Inclusiveness criterion. Having different voting systems for men and women, or rich and poor, or Indigenous and Colonialists, or Muslims and Jews would not be tolerated in Canada; don’t create such a division between Urban and Rural.

I am opposed to any thresholds. It is often suggested that there be a threshold of 5%, 10% or even 15% of the popular vote in order for a party to gain any seats in a proportional system. But a threshold denies the voters for a small party their proportional representation. When a party receives 0.295% of the popular vote (that is, the equivalent of 1 seat out of 338) it shows sufficient interest by the voters that the party should receive 0.295% of the seats.

Whatever system is chosen, it must achieve proportionality of votes to seats in Parliament.

Electoral Reform is a process, not an event. Whatever system is chosen, it must be clear that future enhancements can be made to fix deficiencies that are sure to be identified in the next election. These fixes can range from changing electoral district boundaries, to changing the ratio of single-member ridings to top-up members, to increasing the number of members in Parliament.

I fear that some future government may change the electoral system back to a non-proportional system, by burying such legislation in an omnibus bill in which most of the legislation does have support of the House. To ensure the longevity of the changes being proposed by the Committee, perhaps one of the recommendations can be to have the principle of proportionality in an electoral system enshrined in the Constitution. That recommendation can be implemented after one or two elections, once Canadians have become familiar with a cooperative parliament that builds legislation by consenus.

I urge the Committee to make a recommendation that Parliament pass legislation to implement an electoral system that achieves Proportional Representation, but that the Committee’s recommendation only broadly describes an electoral system such as STV or MMP to achieve Proportional Representation, and to leave the details such as number of citizens per district, number of Members per district, ratio of single-member ridings to top-up members, etc. to a group of experts working for Elections Canada.

While it is not part of the mandate of this Committee, I would like to point out that Canadians are woefully under-represented by their Members of Parliament. Typical electoral district sizes have 100,000 citizens for one Member of Parliament; even if the MP spent eight hours a day, 365 days a year meeting with the constituents, each constituent would have less than two minutes to spend with the MP, and the MP would have no time to spend in Parliament to do any other work. While it is an unpopular opinion amongst taxpayers, I think Canadians would be well served and get better representation by having more politicians.

I am against Mandatory Voting: Candians should not be coerced into casting a ballot. There is no issue of safety (as with mandatory drivers’ licences), or social covenant (as with mandatory taxes).

Imposing penalties for not voting will unfairly and disproportionally punish those who do not vote today: The poor, the homeless, and the uneducated; those who can least afford to pay fines and spend time in court or jail.

Today there is no effective way to cast a ballot of dissent. A ballot spoiled to indicate dissatisfaction with all the candidates is indistinguishable from a ballot spoiled by someone unskilled in the art of voting.

Rather than mandatory voting, give voters the opportunity for greater expression in the marking of their ballots. Provide an option to decline to vote at the polling booth, and have a “None of the above” choice on the ballot. But when “None of the above” achieves a significant number of votes (such as a plurality in a single-member riding or reaching the quota in a multi-member district) there must be consequences, such as calling a by-election to allow fresh candidates to fill that vacancy.

I am a little bit sympathetic to the idea that with mandatory voting political parties may change their campaign strategies to appeal to that portion of the electorate that does not vote today, but there are other ways to get political parties to civilize their campaign strategies by reducing campaign spending limits and allowing small campaign contributions only from private citizens.

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.

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.

Thank you,
Bob Jonkman

6 James Street,
Elmira, Ontario
Canada N3B 1L5

+1-519-635-9413
bjonkman@sobac.com

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Waterloo Region Candidates and Events for 2015 Federal Election

Posted by Bob Jonkman on August 9th, 2015

Ballot

 

Hello Waterloo Region Electorate! It’s time again for a Federal Election. To head off the usual dearth of information I’ve collected information about the candidates running in the five ridings of Waterloo Region.

Federal Election 2015 – WR Candidates

This page will be updated as I get more information about each candidate, so if you’d like to stay up-to-date you can subscribe to the page updates via ChangeDetection.com, or add the RSS feed to your favourite reader.

I’m also maintaining a calendar of public events where the candidates will be appearing.


Aug
6
Thu
2015
Maclean’s Leaders’ Debate
Aug 6 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The first debate for the party leaders in the 2015 Federal Election, hosted by Maclean’s magazine.

Maclean’s National Leaders Debate: Watch and Engage

REPLAY: Maclean's National Leaders Debate – YouTube

Aug
12
Wed
2015
WREN Meet ‘n’ Greet @ Queen Street Commons Cafe
Aug 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Join CAB, WREN (the Waterloo Regional Environmental Network) and more for a summer social at the Queen Street Commons Cafe. This will be a great opportunity to connect with one another in the network and greater Waterloo Region community.

Aug
25
Tue
2015
Kitchener Centre All Candidates Meeting on Electoral Reform – Fair Vote Waterloo @ Queen Street Commons Cafe
Aug 25 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region is pleased to invite you to an all
candidates meeting on electoral reform, with the candidates from Kitchener
Centre.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 25, 7 PM

WHERE: Queen Street Commons, 43 Queen Street South

We have an unprecedented opportunity to elect 170 MPs who will commit to implementing proportional representation. Where do your local candidates stand on PR? Know before you vote!

Candidates will be invited to present their positions on proportional representation. They will then discuss with the audience in an informal, social setting, moving between tables.

Please help us by sharing this event widely!

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1636135436662308/

Thank you for supporting Make Every Vote Count 2015!

Sincerely,

Anita Nickerson
FVC Action Coordinator

FAIR VOTE CANADA / REPRÉSENTATION ÉQUITABLE AU CANADA
283 Danforth Avenue #408
Toronto, ON M4K 1N2
Canada

Sep
3
Thu
2015
CARP Election Forum @ CIGI Campus Auditorium
Sep 3 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

CARP is the national leader in advancing the interests of Canadians as we age. Waterloo Region is home to more than 3,000 CARP members. Like many older Canadians, they are politically aware, and they are more likely to vote. To be fully informed before casting their ballot, they’d like to hear directly about each party’s policies.

On the evening of Thursday, September 3, CARP Waterloo Region members will gather in the CIGI Campus Auditorium, 67 Erb Street West, Waterloo, for the CARP Election Forum. The Forum will be live-webcast by CIGI, our venue sponsor, making the program available to those CARP members who want to view it at home.

CARP Waterloo Region would like to invite each of the four major national political parties to participate in the Forum by having one of its candidates on stage to address our members on their party’s policies.

The Forum is intended to allow each political party to “put its best foot forward”. The event is not structured as a “candidates’ debate”.

The preliminary event agenda is:

  • Doors open 6:00 pm
  • Social hour in the CIGI Campus Foyer 6:30 to 7:15 with coffee/cookies
  • formal event in the Auditorium 7:15 to 8:30
  • mingling afterward in the Foyer till 9:00 when the
    event ends
Sep
17
Thu
2015
Globe and Mail Leader’s Debate
Sep 17 @ 7:00 pm

A Canadian Leader’s Debate on the economy, hosted by the Globe and Mail.

Source: Wikipedia – Canadian federal election, 2015

Sep
28
Mon
2015
KW Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum for Kitchener South – Hespeler @ Waterloo Regional Police Association and Recreation Centre
Sep 28 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a candidate forum for Kitchener South – Hespeler on Monday, 28 September 2015 from 4-6 pm at the Waterloo Regional Police Association and Recreation Centre, 1128 Rife Road in Cambridge.

http://www.greaterkwchamber.com

Sep
29
Tue
2015
KW Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum for Kitchener-Conestoga @ Woolwich Memorial Centre
Sep 29 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a candidate forum for Kitchener-Conestoga on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 from 4-6 pm at the Woolwich Memorial Centre, 24 Snyder Street South in Elmira.

http://www.greaterkwchamber.com

Sep
30
Wed
2015
KW Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum for Kitchener Centre @ Kitchener City Hall Rotunda
Sep 30 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a candidate forum for Kitchener Centre on Wednesday, 30 September 2015 from 4-6 pm at the Kitchener City Hall Rotunda, 200 Kint Street West in Kitchener.

http://www.greaterkwchamber.com

Oct
1
Thu
2015
KW Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum for Waterloo @ Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)
Oct 1 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a candidate forum for Waterloo on Thursday, 1 October 2015 from 4-6 pm at CIGI, 67 Erb Street West in Waterloo.

http://www.greaterkwchamber.com

Oct
2
Fri
2015
TVA French Language Leader’s Debate
Oct 2 @ 7:00 pm

French language leader’s debate for the 2015 Federal Election, hosted by TVA.

Source: Wikipedia – Canadian federal election, 2015

Oct
7
Wed
2015
Consortium French Language Leader’s Debate
Oct 7 @ 7:00 pm

French language leader’s debate for the 2015 Federal Election, hosted by the media consortium of CBC/Radio-Canada, CTV, Global, and Télé-Québec.

Source: Wikipedia – Canadian federal election, 2015

Oct
8
Thu
2015
Consortium English Language Leader’s Debate
Oct 8 @ 7:00 pm

English language leader’s debate for the 2015 Federal Election, hosted by the media consortium of CBC/Radio-Canada, CTV, Global, and Télé-Québec.

Source: Wikipedia – Canadian federal election, 2015

Jul
16
Sun
2017
@FairvoteWRC Info Table at the @OSWaterloo Open Streets Festival @ Waterloo Town Square
Jul 16 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Fair Vote Waterloo will have an information table at the Waterloo
Open Streets Festival [1]!

You can read our tabloid newspaper on electoral reform, sign a
petition asking the government to enact legislation to implement
electoral reform before Election Canada’s deadline, and send a
postcard to your local MP or Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking them
to keep their promise on electoral reform. There may even be a few
‘Your Vote Should Count’ buttons left!

Got an hour or two? Come help staff the info table! There will be
plenty of experienced FairvoteWRC people to help you out if you’re new
to electoral reform.
Fair Vote Waterloo info table at Open Streets

Links:
——
[1] http://www.waterloo.ca/en/living/Open-Streets.asp

Aug
20
Sun
2017
@FairvoteWRC Info Table at the @OSWaterloo Open Streets Festival @ Waterloo Town Square
Aug 20 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Fair Vote Waterloo will have an information table at the Waterloo
Open Streets Festival [1]!

You can read our tabloid newspaper on electoral reform, sign a
petition asking the government to enact legislation to implement
electoral reform before Election Canada’s deadline, and send a
postcard to your local MP or Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking them
to keep their promise on electoral reform. There may even be a few
‘Your Vote Should Count’ buttons left!

Got an hour or two? Come help staff the info table! There will be
plenty of experienced FairvoteWRC people to help you out if you’re new
to electoral reform.
Fair Vote Waterloo info table at Open Streets

Links:
——
[1] http://www.waterloo.ca/en/living/Open-Streets.asp

Sep
15
Fri
2017
International Day of Democracy
Sep 15 all-day

[1]International Day of Democracy is celebrated for and by people in
their ability to determine their own political, economic, social and
cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their
lives.

From the International Day of Democracy [2] page on the United
Nations Web site:

The UN General Assembly, in resolution A/62/7 (2007) encouraged
Governments to strengthen national programmes devoted to the promotion
and consolidation of democracy, and also decided that 15 September of
each year should be observed as the International Day of Democracy.

Fair Vote Canada and the Waterloo Region Chapter have held Democracy
Day and Democracy Week events since 2011.

Links:
——
[1] https://www.un.org/en/events/democracyday/index.shtml
[2] https://www.un.org/en/events/democracyday/index.shtml

Sep
17
Sun
2017
@FairvoteWRC Info Table at the @OSWaterloo Open Streets Festival @ Waterloo Town Square
Sep 17 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Fair Vote Waterloo will have an information table at the Waterloo
Open Streets Festival [1]!

You can read our tabloid newspaper on electoral reform, sign a
petition asking the government to enact legislation to implement
electoral reform before Election Canada’s deadline, and send a
postcard to your local MP or Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking them
to keep their promise on electoral reform. There may even be a few
‘Your Vote Should Count’ buttons left!

Got an hour or two? Come help staff the info table! There will be
plenty of experienced FairvoteWRC people to help you out if you’re new
to electoral reform.
Fair Vote Waterloo info table at Open Streets

Links:
——
[1] http://www.waterloo.ca/en/living/Open-Streets.asp

Jun
7
Thu
2018
Ontario Provincial Election 2018
Jun 7 all-day

This is the date for the Ontario Provincial election, following the
provincial election of 12 June 2014.

From the Election Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.6 [1] (revised 7 June 2017):

First Thursday In June

(2) Subject to the powers of the Lieutenant Governor referred to in
subsection (1), general elections shall be held on the first Thursday
in June in the fourth calendar year following polling day in the most
recent general election. 2016, c. 33, s. 7.

Links:
——
[1] http://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90e06#BK28
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/42nd_Ontario_general_election

Oct
22
Mon
2018
Ontario Municipal Elections 2018
Oct 22 all-day

From the Ontario Municipal Elections Act, Voting Day [1]:

Voting day in a regular election is the fourth Monday in October,
subject to section 10. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 5; 2009, c. 33, Sched.
21, s. 8 (4).

Links:
——
[1] http://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/96m32#BK5

Oct
21
Mon
2019
Federal Election 2019
Oct 21 all-day

This is the latest date for a federal election, following the federal
election of 19 October 2015.

For Fixed Election Date legislation see Date of General Election |
Canada Elections Act [1]

Links:
——
[1] http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-2.01/page-22.html#h-27



You can add the iCal feed to your favourite calendar application.

This year it should be easier for me to gather that information, as I’m running for the Green Party in Kitchener-Conestoga. But still, if you find Errors or Omissions, or have Additions or Updates for either the candidates’ info or the calendar then please let me know at bjonkman@sobac.com or leave a comment on this page.

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Response to the Ontario Government’s Municipal Elections Act Review

Posted by Bob Jonkman on July 27th, 2015

Trillium

Trillium

As requested by Fair Vote Waterloo, I have responded to the Ontario government’s consultation on the Municipal Elections Act Review. As a member of Fair Vote the issue of ranked ballots was most important to me, but I also answered some of the other questions.

Ranked Ballots

What are your thoughts on using ranked ballots for Ontario municipal elections? Ranked ballots are a much fairer method of electing our representatives. A single run-off vote for a one-office position is acceptable, but where there are multiple similar offices (councillors) the election should always be multi-member. Single-member wards do not give the voters a full spectrum of elected candidates. Only one view is represented in any one ward; a plurality view tends to be replicated in every ward, so minority views are not represented at all. Multi-member elections will allow a wide range views to be represented by different elected members.
Should municipalities be able to use ranked ballots for certain offices and not others? For example, only for mayor? All offices should be elected by ranked ballots, with similar offices (councillors) always represented in multi-member ridings.
Should public consultation by a municipality be required before implementing ranked ballots or before changing from ranked ballots back to the current system? In a democracy, the citizens should make the decisions in how they’re governed. There should be a referendum, province-wide, that has a well-worded explanation of the proposed ranked ballot system, including multi-member elections for council positions. However, all municipalities should use the same voting system. There is no fairness in the electoral system if the citizens of one municipality are to be better represented in a multi-member riding than other other citizens in a different municipality with single-member wards.
What form should that consultation take? There should be a province-wide referendum at the next municipal election, with the voting system and a clear referendum question chosen by a citizens’ assembly composed of at least one citizen from each municipality. It will be difficult for such a citizens’ assembly to come to an agreement, but democracy was never designed to be fast and easy.
Unlike the current system, ranked ballots can involve multiple rounds of counting before all the seats to be elected have been won.
How much information would you want about election results? For example, where there have been multiple rounds of counting would you want to see the results of each round of counting or just the final results? All the results, including intermediate rounds of ballot counts, should be published. Complete voting data should be made available as government Open Data, curated by the province instead of each individual municipality.
There are a number of other important decisions that the province will need to consider when determining how ranked ballots could work in Ontario. Throughout this review we will be consulting with Ontarians, municipalities and experts on ranked ballots to help us make these decisions.
Are there other ideas you wish to share on ranked ballots that you would like us to consider? Don’t rely only on appointed experts when evaluating a new voting system. This is an opportunity for participatory democracy, where citizens themselves can determine how they wish to be governed. The citizens of Ontario are well-educated, and can make the best decision for their own governance.

Please do not provide any additional personal or identifying information such as opinions about individuals or names and addresses as part of your response.

To help us make the most effective use of your comments, please consider identifying your municipality or, if you prefer, your geographic region of the province (for example, Southwestern Ontario) or whether you live in a rural or urban area.

If you are providing comments on behalf of an organization, please provide its name. If you are providing comments on behalf of a municipality, please provide its name and indicate whether the submission has been endorsed by a council resolution.

Name of municipality/region/organization: (optional): resident of Woolwich Township, Waterloo Region.
Your responses may be used for the purposes of the ministry’s consultation process. Please note the ministry may summarize and share them, including with other ministries and the public. Names of organizations and persons who indicate an affiliation may also be shared.

Overview of the Municipal Elections Act

From your experience, what parts of municipal elections in Ontario currently work well? In my municipality the ballots are OMRX (optical marks) sheets, so that the ballots can be counted electronically, but remain available for verification by hand-counting. This is a good system, far preferable to a purely electronic voting system.
From your perspective, what parts of municipal elections in Ontario should be changed? Municipal elections seem to be run well in my municipality.
Is there anything else you want to tell us about your experience with municipal elections? Nothing else…

Accessibility

Have you experienced accessibility challenges or barriers related to voting or running for office? If so, what were those challenges and what would help overcome those barriers? In my municipality, there have been no physical obstacles to voting.

Enforcement

In light of recent events in Woolwich Township, the secion on Enforcement was particualry relevant:

Do you feel that municipal election rules are effectively enforced? Why? Why not? Municipal elections rules are not effectively enforced. In my municipality, Woolwich Township, there have been irregularities in elected members’ finances. The Elections Act seems to be clear that such elected members are to be immediately suspended or removed from office, yet the municipality chose to ignore that and allowed the members to continue to sit on Council and govern. The Act is clear; and so municipalities should have no discretion when it comes to enforcement.

–Bob.

Trillium by Laurel L. Russwurm is used under a TrilliumCC BY 2.0 license.

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Lecture on Civic Participation and e-Voting, Monday, 27 July 2015

Posted by Bob Jonkman on July 24th, 2015

Kirk Zurell

Kirk Zurell @kzurell

There is a lecture on Civic Participation and e-Voting, taking place at Conestoga College next Monday, 27 July 2015. The lecturer, Kirk Zurell is well known in the Kitchener-Waterloo tech community; I’m planning on going.

You can register at Eventbrite: All Those in Favour, Click ‘Aye’

From Conestoga College Events:

User Experience Guest Lecture Series: All Those in Favour, Click ‘Aye’ – The Struggle for Civic Tech

27 July 27 2015, 5:00pm

If a billion people around the world can over-share their lives on social media, why are voting rates still so low? Can e-participation systems coax more residents into taking part in civic life?

 

In this session, we will apply technology to the role of the voter, resident, and taxpayer. Civic technologies, including e-participation are increasing in popularity, with dedicated labs and businesses springing up to help citizens manage their “red boxes.”

 

How do user experiences and expectations compare to those of commercial services? How does civic tech affect the roles of the citizen, the political, and the civil servant?

Speaker:

Kirk Zurell, Research Entrepreneurs Accelerating Prosperity (REAP) Professional University of Waterloo

 

Kirk Zurell writes op-ed articles for newspapers on topics in civic life. Kirk takes part in civic life through the Compass Kitchener citizen engagement committee and Waterloo Voter Support Committee. He provides information technology support at The Working Centre and investigates digital media at University of Waterloo’s Research Entrepreneurs Accelerating Prosperity (REAP).

Time:

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Location:

Conestoga College, Doon Campus, Main Building, Room 2A301 Map

To Register:

This guest lecture is free to attend but does require registration: Eventbrite: All Those in Favour, Click ‘Aye’

 

For more information, contact Dalibor Dvorski. ddvorski@conestogac.on.ca

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UofW Bridges Lecture on Mathematics and Democracy, 7:30pm on 27 Feb 2015

Posted by Bob Jonkman on February 23rd, 2015

This coming Friday, 27 February 2015 there’s an interesting lecture on “Mathematics and Democracy” at the University of Waterloo that may interest some of you.

Sometimes I get carried away, and pay more attention to the mechanics of voting systems than the political change we’re trying to effect. I think this lecture will satisfy that craving!

Please note that this is not a Fair Vote Waterloo Region Chapter event.

Here’s the blurb from the University of Waterloo website:

Bridges Lecture – Mathematics and Democracy

Friday, February 27, 2015 – 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Bridges lectures aim to overcome the gap between Mathematics and the Arts. Join Steven J. Brams (Politics) and D. Marc Kilgour (Math) for “Mathematics and Democracy.”

A multitude of election systems have been proposed for choosing both single winners (for mayor, governor, or president) or multiple winners (to a council or committee). Those based on approval voting, which allows voters to vote for more than one candidate or party, are especially appealing. We look at the mathematics behind these systems, and how well they satisfy properties considered important in a democracy. We also analyze the usage of approval voting in electing, among other officials, Catholic popes and UN secretaries general. More recently, approval voting has been adopted by several major professional societies to elect their presidents and advisory councils. Based on this experience, we offer several recommendations for the use of approval voting in public elections.

Steven J. Brams is Professor of Politics at New York University and the author, co-author, or co-editor of 18 books and about 300 articles. His most recent book is Game Theory and the Humanities: Bridging Two Worlds (MIT, 2011).

Brams has applied game theory and social-choice theory to voting and elections, bargaining and fairness, international relations, and the Bible, theology, and literature. He is a former president of the Peace Science Society (1990-91) and of the Public Choice Society (2004-2006). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1986), a Guggenheim Fellow (1986-87), and was a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation (1998-99).

Affiliation: Department of Politics, NYU

D. Marc Kilgour is Professor of Mathematics at Wilfrid Laurier University, Research Director: Conflict Analysis for the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, and Adjunct Professor of Systems Design Engineering at University of Waterloo. His publications include 6 books and nearly 400 articles in journals, conference proceedings, and edited books.

Kilgour’s research lies at the intersection of mathematics, engineering, and social science. He has contributed in arms control, environmental management, negotiation, arbitration, voting, fair division, and coalition formation, and pioneered decision support systems for strategic conflict. President of the Peace Science Society in 2012-13, he is now President of the INFORMS Section on Group Decision and Negotiation.

Affiliation: Department of Mathematics, Wilfrid Laurier

Everyone is welcome to this free public lecture, followed by a reception. Free parking will be available at St. Paul’s.

Host

St. Jerome’s University Event website Bridges Lecture- Mathematics and Democracy

Cost

Free

Location

STJ – St. Jerome’s University Siegfried Hall 290 Westmount Road North Waterloo, ON N2L 3G3 Canada

More info: Bridges Lecture – Mathematics and Democracy: http://sju.ca/news-events/public-events/bridges-lecture-series/mathematics-and-democracy

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Calendar of All Candidates Meetings

Posted by Bob Jonkman on May 25th, 2014

Information on All Candidates Meetings has been scarce for the Provincial Election in 2014. Thanx to the contributions of a few organizations and individuals, here is a list of all the All Candidates Events that I’ve been able to find. In addition, Rogers Community Television has a schedule of rebroadcasted televised candidates debates.

Also, a list of all candidates and their contact information is on the Ontario Election 2014 – WR Candidates page.

Add the All Candidates Meetings to your calendar: iCal (.ics file or feed, less than 20 kBytes)

May
26
Mon
2014
All Candidates Debate: Environment @ Paul Martin Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University
May 26 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

All Candidates Debate: Environment
Monday, May 26th

Paul Martin Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University Map
Doors open at 6:30 pm, debate begins at 7:00 pm

Jodi Koberinski, Organic Council of Ontario will moderate the debate, room and logistics sponsored by WLU Department of Geography & Environmental Studies with questions from the aforementioned as well as CREW-WR, Transition KW, Sustainable Waterloo, etc.)

Facebook Event Page

Questions can be submitted to Matthew Casselman mfcasselman@gmail.com ahead of the debate.

May
28
Wed
2014
Debate – Federation of Students, University of Waterloo @ Room 1102, Student Life Centre, University of Waterloo
May 28 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This is the candidates’ opportunity to engage with the large student population in this riding. Along with inviting students and members of the University community to attend this debate, the Federation of Students will also be live streaming the debate online.

Wondering who to vote for in the upcoming provincial election? Come to the SLC Great Hall for the Candidate Debate and hear where each party stands on different issues.

Facebook: Candidate Debate

Student Life Centre, University of Waterloo Map
200 University Avenue West, Waterloo ON

Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce All-Candidates Forums @ Kitchener City Hall Rotunda
May 28 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Hosted by the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce

Kitchener Centre

Kitchener City Hall Map
200 King Street West, Kitchener, Ontario

Kitchener-Centre — Social Planning Council and Poverty Free KW Action Group @ St. Mary's Place Community Room
May 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

K-W Votes

Provincial Election – June 12th

Get Informed. Meet your Candidates

All Candidates Sessions

  • Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo
  • Community Information Centre of Waterloo Region
  • Poverty Free Kitchener-Waterloo

Social Issues & Poverty Elimination

There is a gap between highest and lowest income earners in Ontario which continues to grow. Deep poverty (greater than 40% below median income) and working poor (full year, full time workers earning below the poverty line) exist in our local community but may be less visible because we have a relatively high average income. Decent incomes to ensure people can live healthy lives, have decent jobs and decent futures for our youth are serious issues that our provincial government has a role to address. For some background to these issues visit: http://www.waterlooregion.org/poverty-elimination.

Kitchener Centre Riding
Wednesday May 28
7:00pm – 9:00pm

Mary’s Place Community Room
84 Frederick St., Kitchener
Map

For RSVP, information or accomodation please contact Maria Frana +1-519-579-1098;ext=3009 or by e-mail at maria@waterlooregion.org

May
29
Thu
2014
Provincial All Candidates Meeting in Cambridge @ The Islamic Centre Of Cambridge
May 29 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Provincial All Candidates Meeting in Cambridge
May 29 at 6:30pm

We are hosting an All Candidates Meeting focused on social issues. Free event.

Facebook: Provincial All Candidates Meeting

The Islamic Centre Of Cambridge Map
1550 Dunbar Rd Cambridge, ON N1R 8J5

Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries created the event.

May
30
Fri
2014
Debate – Grand River Chapter of the Professional Engineers of Ontario @ Central Ontario Chinese Cultural Centre
May 30 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The Grand River Chapter of Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO), in conjunction with Ontario Association of certified Engineering Technologist and Technicians (OACETT), with assistance from the Central Ontario Chinese Cultural Centre (COCCC) will be organizing this event.

Registration: Kitchener-Waterloo Ridings Debate Tickets (free)

On June 12 there is a Provincial General Election where we will elect Members of Provincial Parliament to represent us. Join us on May 30 to meet the candidates and to hear their perspectives on the issues facing our community and profession.

Confirmed Candidates

  • Kitchener Centre:
    • Margaret Johnston (NDP)
    • Daiene Vernile (Liberal)
  • Kitchener Conestoga:

    • Michael Harris (PC)
    • Wayne Wright (Liberal)
  • Kitchener-Waterloo:

    • Jamie Burton (Liberal)
    • Catherine Fife (NDP)
    • Tracey Weiler (PC)

Parking is available at the centre. A light dinner will be served. Guests are welcome.

Central Ontario Chinese Cultural Centre Map
100 Campbell Ave Kitchener, ON

All Candidates Meeting @ Galt Country Club
May 30 @ 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm
Jun
2
Mon
2014
Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce All-Candidates Forums @ Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex
Jun 2 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Hosted by the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce

Kitchener-Waterloo

Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex Map
101 Father David Bauer Drive, Waterloo, Ontario

Youth Impact Session @ The Family Centre Auditorium
Jun 2 @ 6:15 pm – 8:30 pm

Youth Issues, hosted in partnership with The Family Centre and the Waterloo Region Family and Children’s Services Youth Advisory Board.

Youth IMPACT Session

Speak to Candidates

Speak about what matters

Do you want to give a voice to the issues youth face today and their concerns about the future? This event provides the space to talk about what is important to YOU(TH)!

Monday June 2, 2014
6:15 pm – 8:30 pm
The Family Centre Auditorium
65 Hanson Ave, Kitchener
Map

All welcome to attend this all-candidates session focused on youth issues.
If you’re an adult – bring a youth! If you’re a youth – bring an adult!

If you’re a youth or youth group who would like to volunteer to help run this session, please contact Maria at maria@waterlooregion.org or 519-579-1096 Ext 3009. Pizza dinner will be provided before the event to all youth volunteers!

Let us know if you need adaptations or assistance and we will consider how we can help make it possible foryou to attend.

RSVP and invite friends via Facebook

For more information, contact:
Trudy Beaulne, 519-579-1096 ext. 3006, spckw@waterlooregion.org
Denny Aschnaki, 519-576-0540 ext. 2698, Denny.Aschnaki@facswaterloo.org

This is your chance to have your say in this provincial election by talking to local candidates about what matters to YOU(TH)!

This event is co-hosted by the Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo, The Family Centre, and the Waterloo Region Family and Children’s Services Youth Advisory Board.

Jun
3
Tue
2014
Televised Leaders Debate
Jun 3 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

From Yahoo News:

Ontario Votes: Leaders’ debate set for June 3

The leaders of Ontario’s three main political parties will square off in one 90-minute televised debate on Tuesday, June 3.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwarth, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne will participate in the live debate hosted by TVO’s Steve Paikin at the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto.

The debate will get underway at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on CBC, CTV, CHCH, CPAC, Global, Sun News Network and TVO. Viewers are advised to consult local listing for specific broadcast details.

Environmental Debate — Kitchener Centre @ UofW School of Pharmacy
Jun 3 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

A Tweet from @StaceyDanckert:

Environmental debate just booked for Kitchener-Centre for June 3@the UW Pharmacy building pending candidate confirmation

UofW School of Pharmacy
10A Victoria St. S.,
Kitchener, Ontario
Map

Jun
4
Wed
2014
Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce All-Candidates Forums @ Woolwich Memorial Centre
Jun 4 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Hosted by the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce

Kitchener-Conestoga

Woolwich Memorial Centre Map
24 Snyder Avenue South, Elmira, Ontario

Debate – Cultural Exchange @ THE MUSEUM
Jun 4 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Admission to A Cultural Exchange is free for guests with a suggested donation of $5 to THEMUSEUM. The moderator will begin the evening by inviting the first candidate to speak for three and a half minutes followed by table discussion for five minutes. An arts and culture organization representative to be stationed at each table to add to the discussion. Candidates will rotate tables.

There will be a Twitter wall; if tweeting please use the hash tag #culturalexchange.

There will also be live blogging allowing you to follow along and post comments for those unable to attend.

Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. and visitors are welcome to visit Unwrapping Egypt (suggested donation of $5).

THE MUSEUM Map
10 King St. West, Kitchener, Ontario

Jun
5
Thu
2014
Kitchener-Waterloo — Social Planning Council and Poverty Free KW Action Group @ First United Church
Jun 5 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

K-W Votes

Provincial Election – June 12th

Get Informed. Meet your Candidates

All Candidates Sessions

  • Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo
  • Community Information Centre of Waterloo Region
  • Poverty Free Kitchener-Waterloo

Social Issues & Poverty Elimination

There is a gap between highest and lowest income earners in Ontario which continues to grow. Deep poverty (greater than 40% below median income) and working poor (full year, full time workers earning below the poverty line) exist in our local community but may be less visible because we have a relatively high average income. Decent incomes to ensure people can live healthy lives, have decent jobs and decent futures for our youth are serious issues that our provincial government has a role to address. For some background to these issues visit: http://www.waterlooregion.org/poverty-elimination.

Kitchener-Waterloo Riding
Thursday June 5
7:00pm – 9:00pm

First United Church
16 William St. West, Waterloo
Map

For RSVP, information or accomodation please contact Maria Frana +1-519-579-1098;ext=3009 or by e-mail at maria@waterlooregion.org

Jun
6
Fri
2014
FairvoteWRC: Politics On The Patio @ Sole Restaurant and Wine Bar
Jun 6 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

From Fair Vote Waterloo Region: Politics on the Patio.

People at a patio table discussing politics

Politics on the Patio

We have a venue! The Solé Restaurant and Wine Bar has graciously offered to host us in their Wine Cellar Room. The Solé Restaurant and Wine Bar is at 83 Erb Street West, Waterloo, Ontario. Map

A Meet & Greet with the Waterloo Region candidates! Ask questions of your local candidates, or just get to know them better. There will be several patio tables set up so the candidates can circulate while we enjoy a beverage and conversation.


(the location will be a Waterloo restaurant with a patio, but has not yet been confirmed)

People talking about politics, on the patio

Sunset over Politics on the Patio

Pictures by Laurel L. Russwurm from Whoa! Canada: Democracy Week ~ Waterloo Region used under a used under a Creative Commons LicenseCC-BY license.

Jun
12
Thu
2014
Ontario Provincial Election
Jun 12 all-day
Jun
7
Thu
2018
Ontario Provincial Election 2018
Jun 7 all-day

This is the date for the Ontario Provincial election, following the
provincial election of 12 June 2014.

From the Election Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.6 [1] (revised 7 June 2017):

First Thursday In June

(2) Subject to the powers of the Lieutenant Governor referred to in
subsection (1), general elections shall be held on the first Thursday
in June in the fourth calendar year following polling day in the most
recent general election. 2016, c. 33, s. 7.

Links:
——
[1] http://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90e06#BK28
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/42nd_Ontario_general_election

Oct
22
Mon
2018
Ontario Municipal Elections 2018
Oct 22 all-day

From the Ontario Municipal Elections Act, Voting Day [1]:

Voting day in a regular election is the fourth Monday in October,
subject to section 10. 1996, c. 32, Sched., s. 5; 2009, c. 33, Sched.
21, s. 8 (4).

Links:
——
[1] http://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/96m32#BK5

Oct
21
Mon
2019
Federal Election 2019
Oct 21 all-day

This is the latest date for a federal election, following the federal
election of 19 October 2015.

For Fixed Election Date legislation see Date of General Election |
Canada Elections Act [1]

Links:
——
[1] http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-2.01/page-22.html#h-27



Errors? Omissions? Additions? Updates? Please let me know at bjonkman@sobac.com or leave a comment on this page.

Thanx to the Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo for providing their list of All Candidate Sessions, and to Jamie Burton, Liberal candidate in Kitchener-Waterloo, for her list of events, and @StrangeAttracto for additional Upcoming all-candidates meetings. Extra thanx to Paul Nijjar for still more info, as well as post-meeting updates and reports.

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FairvoteWRC Pub Night on Thursday, 22 May 2014 at The Duke of Wellington

Posted by Bob Jonkman on May 21st, 2014

Sign depicting the Duke of Wellington

The Duke of Wellington

Do you have some politics you’ve got to get off your chest? Come to The Duke of Wellington Pub at 33 Erb Street West in Waterloo, Ontario Map on Thursday, 22 May 2014 at 7:00pm iCal

All the candidates for the Ontario election are invited too, so you’ll have a chance to bend the ear of your local politician or future politician.

And, of course, we’ll tell them that Electoral Reform is the foundational issue for this election — proportional representation will make all our votes count!

Disagree? Let’s talk over a beverage, bangers and mash!

–Bob.

The Duke of Wellington Pub

The Duke of Wellington Pub

This post was mirrored from the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter web site

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CETA Panel Discussion — Thursday, 1 May 2014

Posted by Bob Jonkman on April 30th, 2014

Ceta Poster

CETA Poster

This Thursday the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter is hosting a panel discussion on CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. On the panel are Stephen Woodworth, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, and Angelo DiCaro, trade researcher for Unifor. The discussion will be moderated by Cathy MacLellan.

Cathy provided a link to a paper from the Canadian Government, Technical Summary of Final Negotiated Outcomes, Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (.PDF file, 756.6 kBytes). This document consists of 26 pages of bullet points, which look more like the minutes of a meeting than a policy statement or an analysis. Perhaps there is a more in-depth coverage on the Government’s propaganda information site, Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

Or perhaps you should come to the panel discussion!


What: CETA Panel Discussion
When: Thursday, 1 May 2014 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm iCal
Where: Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work, 120 Duke St., Kitchener, Ontario Map
Who: Hosted by Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter (@FairvoteWRC)

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FairVoteWRC Film Screening: Whipped – Monday, 24 June 2013

Posted by Bob Jonkman on June 3rd, 2013

Whipped: The secret world of party discipline

A film by Sean Holman

Sharon Sommerville, Co-chair for the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter writes:

Hello Everyone,

WHIPPED“, Sean Holman’s new documentary on the topical and controversial issue of party discipline is coming to Waterloo Region along with the filmmaker! To whom do MP’s owe their greatest allegiance: their party, their constituents or their conscience?

On Monday, June 24 at 7pm at Laurier’s Bricker Academic Building, Room 210, FVC-WR and co-sponsors KWNDP, KWGP, KWFLA and YCYC/VCVC are pleased to screen, “WHIPPED” and host a post screening panel with the filmmaker Sean Holman, Larry Aberle, President of the KWNDP and Karen Redman, former Liberal MP and party whip.

This is going to be a great evening of political education for all. We will be taking donations at the door to help cover expenses for this event. Suggested donation is $10 or what you can spare!

Hope to see you on June 24 for an exciting evening of political discussion.

Kind regards,

Sharon Sommerville, Co-Chair
FVC-WR

Who: Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter
What: Film Screening of “WHIPPED: The secret world of party discipline
When: Monday, 24 June 2013, 7:00pm
Where: Room 210, Bricker Academic Building, Wilfrid Laurier University, Bricker St., Waterloo, Ontario [map]
Donation: Suggested $10 donation at the door
More information: Sharon Sommerville at shareonsommerville@gmail or Anita Nickerson at anita.nickerson@fairvote.ca

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E-voting, Redux

Posted by Bob Jonkman on February 22nd, 2013

Person making a selection on a touch-screen voting machine

E-voting: No privacy?

Jeremy Epstein writes that US president Obama has announced a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in America. He concludes:

My greatest fear is that the commission will blindly recommend internet voting as a cure-all. As readers of my postings on this blog know, internet voting has yet to show promise as a secure solution to voting, and it risks threatening everyone’s vote.

I think that about nails that coffin shut…

Jeremy and I may be having some effect. He wrote to me Bob, one more follow-up. Today [6 February 2013] the Edmonton City Council voted not to proceed with internet voting, to my great surprise. See: Edmonton council defeats proposal for Internet voting this fall. Whether they read your blog post or mine and were influenced by it, I won’t even guess 🙂

There are further comments on Jeremy Epstein’s blog post.

Deirdre voting on Automark by joebeone is used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

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