Fair Vote Canada
|Founded||August 1, 2000|
|Focus||Electoral reform in Canada, proportional representation|
|Key people||Doug Bailie, President
Stuart Parker, Vice President
Fair Vote Canada (FVC) is a grassroots, nonprofit, multi-partisan citizens' campaign for electoral reform in Canada. It promotes the introduction of an element of proportional representation into elections for all levels of government and throughout civil society, instead of the strictly first-past-the-post electoral system that is used nearly everywhere in Canada. Its aim is "to gain broad, multi-partisan support for an independent, citizen-driven process to allow Canadians to choose a fair voting system based on the principles that all voters are equal, and that every vote must count." One of its major campaigns is a petition demanding the following basic democratic rights:
- to cast an equal and effective vote and to be represented fairly in Parliament, regardless of political belief or place of residence.
- to be governed by a fairly elected Parliament where the share of seats held by each political party closely reflects the popular vote.
- to live under legitimate laws approved by a majority of elected Parliamentarians representing a majority of voters;
and demanding that the House of Commons immediately undertake a public consultation to amend the Canada Elections Act to incorporate these vital democratic rights. The House, after this consultation, should quickly implement a suitable form of proportional representation.
While it steers away from advocacy of any particular voting system, Fair Vote Canada has spoken out on several of the initiatives that have come out of the Canadian provinces. The group evaluates each initiative based on its statement of principles, which states that any electoral reform should achieve the five objectives of proportional representation, fair representation for women, minorities, and Aboriginals, accountable government, geographic representation, and real voter choice.
In March 2005, FVC issued assessments of the four provincial proposals. On the British Columbia electoral reform referendum, 2005 it recommended that British Columbians vote "Yes," that they consider this the first step in a continuing reform process, and that they press for further improvements to increase proportionality and enhance diversity. For Quebec, FVC said the MMP framework provided a very good foundation on which to build a fair voting system, but the current proposal must be greatly improved, and it urged a citizen-driven process to improve the proposal. It was very supportive of the Citizens' Assembly process for the Ontario electoral reform referendum, 2007, while recommending some improvements to the process.
Fair Vote Canada also maintains provincial campaigns in Ontario (since 2002) and Alberta (since 2006) to campaign for electoral reform in those respective provinces. This is in contrast to independent groups in both British Columbia and Quebec who have similar goals, but are not a part of Fair Vote Canada.
Fair Vote Canada strives to maintain a nationwide, multi-partisan support base, with members from all points on the political spectrum, all regions and all walks of life. Its National Advisory Board includes prominent Conservatives, Liberals, New Democrats, and Greens, as do many chapter executives. Rick Anderson, former advisor to Preston Manning was elected to the group's board at the federal level in 2006, the first prominent conservative at that level since the 2004 resignation of Bruce Hallsor.
On August 2, 2011, Fair Vote Canada launched Democracy Day and Democracy Week in Canada annual events encouraging participation, education, and celebration of Canadian democracy. In its first year events were held by different groups in cities across Canada. Fair Vote Canada designated Democracy Day to be Canada's celebration of the United Nations International Day of Democracy and Democracy Week to be the seven-day calendar week in which Democracy Day falls (September 15 each year). A number of Canadian non-profit and governmental organizations participate in and promote the events, including Elections Canada.
- Electoral reform in Canada
- Elections in Canada
- Referendums in Canada
- Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform (Ontario)
- Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform (British Columbia)
- "An Overview of the Issues and the Citizens’ Campaign for Voting System Reform" (DOC). Fair Vote Canada. August 2001. p. 12. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- Everitt, Joanna; O'Neill, Brenda (2001). Citizen politics: research and theory in Canadian political behaviour. Oxford University Press. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-19-541447-9.
- "Contact Us!". Fair Vote Canada. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- "About Fair Vote Canada". Fair Vote Canada. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- "Fair Vote Canada Newsletter August 2011". Fair Vote Canada. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "Invitation aux médias - 15 septembre Journée de la démocratie". Mouvement pour une démocratie nouvelle (MDN). Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "Fair Vote Canada Launches Democracy Week". Fair Vote Canada. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "International Day of Democracy". United Nations. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "Happy Democracy Day, Canada! Or Is it?". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "PR: Young Canadians Invited to Create "The Art of Democracy"". Elections Canada. Retrieved September 16, 2011.