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Bob Jonkman's thoughts on politics

#Bill66 — My submission to the Environmental Registry of Ontario

Posted by Bob Jonkman on January 21st, 2019

[1]Bill 66 was introduced in the Ontario legislature just before the Christmas holidays. The short timeframe for discussion and consultation makes me think the legislators are trying to pass it before people have a chance to understand its effects. It is an omnibus bill, affecting dozens of different pieces of Ontario laws and regulations, many items of which are hidden behind indirect references, and all of which are to be voted on en masse. Omnibus bills tend to carry deleterious clauses which would never stand on their own, but which get passed only because of some other items in the same bill that are perceived to be more beneficial than the rest of the bill is bad. A summary of Bill 66 is at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario website, called Bill 66, Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act, 2018 [2] Commentary on Bill 66 is plentiful: * Stop Bill 66 - Save the Greenbelt and Protect our water [3] * Bill 66: What You Need to Know | wrgreens [4] * Comment on Bill 66 | Kitchener—Conestoga Greens [5] * Bill 66 Press Release -- Hold The Line [6] [7] Bob Jonkman makes a delegation to Woolwich Township Council.Many groups joined together to provide information on Bill 66, and to make a concerted effort to bring our dissatisfaction to local municipal and provincial leaders. I made two [8] delegations [9] to Woolwich Township Council urging them to pass a resolution to reject Bill 66 and to pledge that if passed, not to use this legislation to bypass the environmental regulations currently in place. Woolwich did pass a resolution, but stopped short of adding the pledge not to use it. The consultation period at the Ontario Environmental Registry [10] ended yesterday, and below are the comments I made. Bill 66 is a direct affront to the citizens of Ontario. Doug Ford made a pledge in May 2018 that the Green Belt areas would be not be subject to development. Now that Doug Ford is Premier of the Government of Ontario, I expect that pledge to be honoured. Bill 66 affects existing laws and regulations at many Ministries, not just the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. It detrimentally affects the protections for workers in many separate regulations, detrimentally affects the protections for children in childcare, detrimentally affects seniors and patients in long-term care, and detrimentally affects consumers protections from wireless carriers. This is not an exhaustive list. Bill 66 detrimentally affects environmental regulations more than any other. Under Schedule 10 municipalities no longer have to follow the regulations under the Clean Water Act, Great Lakes Protection Act, Greenbelt Act, Lake Simcoe Protection Act, and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, among many others. Ontario and its municipalities have experienced the greatest prosperity in the last ten years, without needing to circumvent the environmental protections put in place by previous Conservative and Liberal governments. Removing these protections now will pit one municipality against another -- if one municipality allows development in a protected area, it creates pollution for all the downwind and downstream neighbours, both in that municipality as well as surrouding municipalities. There will be increased infrastructure costs for those municipalities that receive the extra traffic from the development, but none of the anticipated revenue. Bill 66 is not something municipalities have asked for for, nor is it something municipalities need. Speculators may have purchased land in the currently protected areas. Just having Bill 66 on the table has affected land values. Currently permitted uses for protected areas will become unaffordable, and the pressure on local governments to bypass environmental protections will be great. I'm happy to see many municipalities have passed resolutions rejecting Bill 66. The citizens of Ontario are clear: Bill 66, with all its recissions of existing laws, must not be passed. I hope the elected representatives in the Legislature will fulfill their mandate and represent their constituents' demands to reject Bill 66. Links: ------ [1] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/2019/01/21/bill66-my-submission-to-the-environmental-registry-of-ontario/bill66farmland/ [2] https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-66 [3] https://stopbill66.ca [4] https://wrgreens.wordpress.com/2019/01/20/bill-66-what-you-need-to-know/ [5] https://kitcongreens.wordpress.com/2019/01/18/comment-on-bill-66/ [6] https://www.holdthelinewr.org/bill66 [7] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/2019/01/21/bill66-my-submission-to-the-environmental-registry-of-ontario/bob-jonkman-delegation-to-woolwich-council-8-jan-2019/ [8] https://calendar.woolwich.ca/council/Detail/2019-01-08-1900-Committee-of-the-Whole/5537656f-d015-492d-8a36-a9d900e456e0 [9] https://calendar.woolwich.ca/council/Detail/2019-01-15-1800-Council-Meeting [10] https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-4293

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2018 Ontario Election Candidates and Events

Posted by Bob Jonkman on April 11th, 2018

As I've done for the past few elections, I've posted the contact information for the candidates in Waterloo Region for the 2018 Ontario election: * Ontario Election 2018 Candidates [1] I'm also trying to list every All Candidates Meeting in Waterloo Region, the televised Leaders Debates, events and other happenings: * Ontario Election 2018 Events [2] Please let me know [3] if I've missed anything. -Bob. Links: ------ [1] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/elections/ontario-election-2018/ [2] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/calendar/action~agenda/exact_date~1525147200/request_format~html/ [3] mailto:bjonkman@sobac.com?subject=Ontario%20Election%202018%20update%20%5Bbjns%5D

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2014 Ontario General Election Analysis for Waterloo Region

Posted by Bob Jonkman on March 5th, 2018

There's another Ontario General Election on the horizon (7 June 2018), so this is a good time to see how things went last time around. The voting system that Ontario uses is First-Past-The Post, or technically, Single Member Plurality. That means that the candidate who gets more votes than the runner-up gets the single seat for the whole riding. No need for a majority. With five candidates in a riding the "winner" could have as little as 20% of the vote, and so up to 80% of the votes cast wouldn't serve to elect anyone, and are wasted. It makes no difference if those voters had stayed home; the result would have been the same. In Waterloo Region things weren't quite as bad as that, but not far off. Overall, 61.2% of votes cast in Waterloo Region were wasted. No candidate won a riding with a majority. The closest was Diaene Vernile in Kitchener Centre, who received 43.1% of the votes cast in that riding. Kathryn McGarry won the seat in Cambridge with only 38.9%, comparable to Ontario, where the Liberals received 38.6% of the vote, but received 54.6% of the seats (58 out of 107 seats). This is yet another false majority, directly attributable to the single-member seat allocation. The worst showing was in Kitchener-Conestoga, where Michael Harris retained his seat with only 36.4% of the votes. That means 63.6% of the voters voted AGAINST Mr. Harris! Even worse, only 17083 of 94886 eligible voters voted for Mr. Harris. He won with the approval of only 18% of the electorate! With only five parties and four ridings in Waterloo Region it is difficult to assess the how proportional the seat count is compared to the vote count. The Liberals are over-represented with two seats, 50%, with only 36% of the vote. The Progressive Conservatives are under-represented with one seat, 25%, and 30% of the vote. The NDP is properly represented with one seat, 25%, and 26% of the vote. The Greens and Libertarians together received 7.3% of the votes cast, and would not have gained a seat in the Region even with a proportional voting system. It would not take a large shift in voter preference to significantly change the outcome. Note how small the plurality for each of the winners is, only a few thousand votes. Kitchener-Conestoga is especially fragile, where Michael Harris won by only 1419 votes. Even a small increase in voter turnout would add more votes than that. An increase from 49.5% to 51.0% would add 1423 votes, more than enough to topple the Progressive Conservative seat in favour of the Liberals. Region-wide, voter turnout was abysmal at 50.9% of eligible voters casting a ballot. No wonder 49.1% of the voters stayed home, when there is such a high number of wasted votes. It is said that a system with proportional representation will improve voter turnout, because almost all votes cast contribute towards some representation in the legislature. I sure hope to see that for the next election! Here are the results for the four electoral districts in Waterloo Region: CAMBRIDGE KITCHENER CENTRE KITCHENER-CONESTOGA KITCHENER-WATERLOO TOTALS LIBERAL * KATHRYN MCGARRY * * DIAENE VERNILE * Wayne Wright Jamie Burton 50.0% seats LIBERAL 18763 38.9% 18472 43.1% 15664 33.3% 16534 30.1% 69433 36.0% votes PROGRESSIVE-CONSERVATIVE Rob Leone (Incumbent) Wayne Wettlaufer * MICHAEL HARRIS * (Incumbent) Tracey Weiler 25.0% seats PROGRESSIVE- CONSERVATIVE 15694 32.6% 11550 27.0% 17083 36.4% 14450 26.3% 58777 30.5% votes NDP Bobbi Stewart Margaret Johnston James Villeneuve * CATHERINE FIFE * (Incumbent) 25.0% seats NDP 10413 21.6% 9765 22.8% 9958 21.2% 20536 37.4% 50672 26.3% votes GREEN Temara Brown Ronnie Smith David Weber Stacey Danckert 0.0% seats GREEN 2726 5.7% 2472 5.8% 3277 7.0% 2859 5.2% 11334 5.9% votes LIBERTARIAN Allan R. Detweiler Patrick Bernier David Schumm James Schulz 0.0% seats LIBERTARIAN 605 1.3% 557 1.3% 1001 2.1% 481 0.9% 2644 1.4% votes VOTES CAST | TURNOUT 48201 48.1% 42816 51.5% 46983 49.5% 54860 54.3% 192860 50.9% VOTES CAST | TURNOUT ELIGIBLE VOTERS 100130 83170 94886 100972 379158 ELIGIBLE VOTERS APPROVAL (WINNING VOTES / ELIGBLE VOTERS) 18.7% 22.2% 18.0% 20.3% 19.7% APPROVAL (WINNING VOTES / ELIGBLE VOTERS) PLURALITY | % VOTES CAST 3069 6.4% 6922 16.2% 1419 3.0% 4002 7.3% 15412 8.0% PLURALITY | % VOTES CAST WASTED VOTES 29438 61.1% 24344 56.9% 29900 63.6% 34324 62.6% 118006 61.2% WASTED VOTES And that's how it was in 2014. I hope to have an analysis of the 2018 Ontario General Election once the excitement has worn off a little -Bob Jonkman is the Co-Chair for the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter.

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Electoral Reform — My Submission to the #ERRE Committee

Posted by Bob Jonkman on October 7th, 2016

PR 4 Canada Resources [1] 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 Links: ------ [1] https://whoacanada.wordpress.com/pr-4-canada-resources/

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Waterloo Region Candidates and Events for 2015 Federal Election

Posted by Bob Jonkman on August 9th, 2015

[1] 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 [2] 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 [3] via ChangeDetection.com [4], or add the RSS [5] feed to your favourite reader. I'm also maintaining a calendar of public events where the candidates will be appearing. ------------------------- [ai1ec view="agenda" cat_name="federal_election_2015 exact_date="2015-8-2] ------------------------- You can add the iCal [6] 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 [7]. 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 [8] or leave a comment [9] on this page. Links: ------ [1] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/2015/08/09/waterloo-region-candidates-and-events-for-2015-federal-election/ballot/ [2] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/elections/federal-election-2015-wr-candidates/ [3] http://www.changedetection.com/log/ca/jonkman/poliblog/federal-election-2015-wr-candidates_log.html [4] https://www.changedetection.com/ [5] http://www.changedetection.com/accountfeed.xml?feedid=439736265761887 [6] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/?plugin=all-in-one-event-calendar&controller=ai1ec_exporter_controller&action=export_events&no_html=true&ai1ec_cat_ids=20075 [7] http://bobjonkmangpc.jonkman.ca/blogs/ [8] mailto:bjonkman@sobac.com?subject=Update%20to%20Poliblog%20Calendar%20%5Bbjns%5D [9] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/2015/08/09/waterloo-region-candidates-and-events-for-2015-federal-election/#respond

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Response to the Ontario Government’s Municipal Elections Act Review

Posted by Bob Jonkman on July 27th, 2015

[1] TrilliumAs requested by Fair Vote Waterloo [2], I have responded to the Ontario government's consultation on the Municipal Elections Act Review [3]. 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 [4] 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 [5] 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 [6] 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 [7] In light of recent events [8] 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 [9] by Laurel L. Russwurm [10] is used under a CC BY 2.0 [11] license. Links: ------ [1] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/2015/07/27/response-to-the-ontario-governments-municipal-elections-act-review/trillium/ [2] https://www.fairvotewrc.ca/an-opportunity-to-contribute-to-provincial-electoral-reform-legislation/ [3] http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page11112.aspx [4] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/HTTP://WWW.MAH.GOV.ON.CA/PAGE11120.ASPX [5] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/HTTP://WWW.MAH.GOV.ON.CA/PAGE11113.ASPX [6] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/HTTP://WWW.MAH.GOV.ON.CA/PAGE11116.ASPX [7] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/HTTP://WWW.MAH.GOV.ON.CA/PAGE11123.ASPX [8] http://elmiraadvocate.blogspot.ca/2015/07/woolwich-election-expense-scandal.html [9] https://www.flickr.com/photos/laurelrusswurm/14238525421/in/album-72157644420051281/ [10] https://www.flickr.com/people/laurelrusswurm/ [11] https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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Posted in Voting Systems | Comments Off on Response to the Ontario Government’s Municipal Elections Act Review

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

Posted by Bob Jonkman on July 24th, 2015

[1] Kirk Zurell @kzurell [2] There is a lecture on Civic Participation and e-Voting, taking place at Conestoga College next Monday, 27 July 2015. The lecturer, Kirk Zurell [3] 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' [4] From Conestoga College Events [5]: 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 [6] To Register: This guest lecture is free to attend but does require registration: Eventbrite: All Those in Favour, Click 'Aye' [7] For more information, contact Dalibor Dvorski. ddvorski@conestogac.on.ca [8] Links: ------ [1] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/files/2015/07/Kirk-Zurell.png [2] https://twitter.com/kzurell [3] https://twitter.com/kzurell [4] https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/user-experience-guest-lecture-series-all-those-in-favour-click-aye-the-struggle-for-civic-tech-tickets-17649691703 [5] http://blogs1.conestogac.on.ca/events/2015/07/all_those_in_favour_click_aye_.php [6] http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=43.3896&mlon=-80.4040#map=13/43.3896/-80.4040 [7] https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/user-experience-guest-lecture-series-all-those-in-favour-click-aye-the-struggle-for-civic-tech-tickets-17649691703 [8] mailto: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 [1] event. Here's the blurb from the University of Waterloo website [2]: BRIDGES LECTURE – MATHEMATICS AND DEMOCRACY Friday, February 27, 2015 – 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm [3] 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 [4] Links: ------ [1] http://fairvotewrc.ca [2] http://sju.ca/news-events/public-events/bridges-lecture-series/mathematics-and-democracy [3] https://www.fairvotewrc.ca/ai1ec_event/uofw-dept-of-math-bridges-lecture-mathematics-and-democracy/?instance_id=56982 [4] 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 [1]. Also, a list of all candidates and their contact information is on the Ontario Election 2014 – WR Candidates [2] page. Add the All Candidates Meetings to your calendar: iCal [3] (.ics file or feed, less than 20 kBytes) [ai1ec view="agenda" cat_name="Election" exact_date="2014-5-1] Errors? Omissions? Additions? Updates? Please let me know at bjonkman@sobac.com [4] or leave a comment [5] on this page. Thanx to the Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo [6] for providing their list of All Candidate Sessions [7], and to Jamie Burton, Liberal candidate in Kitchener-Waterloo [8], for her list of events [9], and @StrangeAttracto [10] for additional Upcoming all-candidates meetings [11]. Extra thanx to Paul Nijjar for still more info, as well as post-meeting updates and reports. Links: ------ [1] http://www.rogerstv.com/page.aspx?lid=12&rid=22&sid=6281 [2] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/ontario-election-2014-wr-candidates/ [3] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/?plugin=all-in-one-event-calendar&controller=ai1ec_exporter_controller&action=export_events&cb=554991675&ai1ec_cat_ids=5201,5202 [4] mailto:bjonkman@sobac.com?subject=Update%20to%20Poliblog%20Calendar%20%5Bbjns%5D [5] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/2014/05/25/calendar-of-all-candidates-meetings/#respond [6] http://www.waterlooregion.org/ [7] http://www.waterlooregion.org/all-candidate-sessions-provincial-election-2014 [8] http://www.jamieburton.ca/ [9] http://www.jamieburton.ca/events [10] https://twitter.com/strangeattracto/ [11] https://twitter.com/strangeattracto/status/470698725027741696

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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

[1] The Duke of WellingtonDo you have some politics you've got to get off your chest? Come to The Duke of Wellington Pub [2] at 33 Erb Street West in Waterloo, Ontario Map [3] on Thursday, 22 May 2014 at 7:00pm [4] iCal [5] All the candidates for the Ontario election [6] 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. [7] The Duke of Wellington Pub This post was mirrored from the Fair Vote Canada Waterloo Region Chapter [8] web site Links: ------ [1] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/2014/05/21/pub-night-on-thursday-22-may-2014-at-the-duke-of-wellington/the-duke_0243/ [2] http://dukeofwellingtonpubs.com/duke/dukeOfWellington.php [3] http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=43.4646&mlon=-80.5238#map=16/43.4646/-80.5238 [4] http://www.fairvotewrc.ca/ai1ec_event/pub-night-3/ [5] http://www.fairvotewrc.ca/?plugin=all-in-one-event-calendar&controller=ai1ec_exporter_controller&action=export_events&cb=1553537619&ai1ec_post_ids=862 [6] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/ontario-election-2014-wr-candidates/ [7] http://poliblog.jonkman.ca/blogs/files/2014/05/the-duke_0208.jpeg [8] http://www.fairvotewrc.ca/reminder-pub-night-on-thursday-22-may-2014-at-the-duke-of-wellington/

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