Sunday, November 09, 2008



Hi Readers of Oldtown News

I support electoral reform especially STV and ask you to please do the same. Our electoral system is broken and we need to fix it -- JLH

Immediate Release

November 6, 2008

12 municipal candidates declare support for B.C. electoral reform

Vancouver, BC – Twelve civic candidates from across British Columbia have publicly declared their support for electoral reform, and in particular for the proposed British Columbia Single Transferable Vote (BC-ST) system. This multi-partisan group includes candidates from across the province, such as members of Vancouver's Non-Partisan Association (NPA), Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE), and Green Party; Richmond's Independent Team of Electors (RITE); Victoria's Green Party; and numerous other independents. The movement is also supported by directors from the NDP, federal Conservatives, BC Liberals, and BC Greens.

"Change is sweeping across North America, but taking a public stand for change can be difficult," said Damian Kettlewell, organizer for I Vote Municipally for Candidates Who Support the Citizens' Assembly. "From Kamloops to Victoria, from the heart of the city to the suburbs of Vancouver, we have identified twelve candidates who will voice their support for a more democratic, proportional electoral system: the Single Transferable Vote (STV). We encourage voters to engage with the twelve candidates: volunteer, donate and campaign for these candidates who support change. As well, we are encouraging voters to respectfully contact anti-STV civic candidates and thoughtfully suggest to them that they consider supporting electoral reform.

"Voter turn-out rates are declining throughout most of Canada, and apathy is becoming an unsettling problem. B.C.'s Citizens' Assembly has proposed a new voting system, and considering that B.C. is often a catalyst for change, we feel the time is right for democracy to evolve in our province. It is time to embrace BC-STV."

List of municipal candidates who support BC-STV:

Vancouver - Ellen Woodsworth ~
Vancouver - Michael Geller ~
Richmond - Michael Wolfe ~
Coquitlam - Fin Donnelly ~
Coquitlam - Neal Nicholson
Coquitlam - Richard Stewart ~
Electoral Area A (UBC) - Ben West ~

Victoria - Sonya Chandler ~
Langford - Steven Hurdle ~
Esquimalt - Norman Swan
Kamloops - Arjun Singh ~

Kelowna - Angela Reid ~

Anti-STV municipal candidates:
Vancouver - Andrea Reimer ~

- end -


The BC-STV electoral system was developed and recommended by the non-partisan, 158-person Citizens' Assembly in 2004 and achieved 58% support in a referendum question in the 2005 provincial election. The question will be posed to B.C. voters again in May 2009, and requires 60% support to succeed. The B.C. Single Transferable Vote system reflects the following three values: (1) fairness, (2) better local representation and (3) more voter choice, and is best explained at: . Proponents of BC-STV feel that our current system for electing politicians (first past the post) does not reflect those values as effectively.

For more information:

Damian Kettlewell

Organizer, I Vote Municipally for Candidates Who Support the Citizens' Assembly

(778) 840-8049


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC

The Value of Independents and Small Parties in Canadian Democracy: At The Billy Bishop Legion

See the Straight

A number of Independent candidates in the Vancouver municipal election have organized an all-candidate forum for Independents and Small Party representatives on Sunday, November 9 at the Billy Bishop Legion in Kitsilano.

Jamie Lee Hamilton, candidate for Park Board and Lea Johnson, candidate for Council are co-organizing this forum.

The format of the afternoon will feature 3 minute opening addresses by the candidates, then an interactive section with a Media panel featuring Charlie Smith, news editor of the Georgia Straight, The Republic municipal affairs columnist, Reed Eurchuk and Sandra Thomas, a reporter at the vancouver Courier.

Candidates will then have one minute for closing statements.

The afternoon will be moderated by former WestEnder Editor Kevin McKeown, owner of Publicity Plus Event and Marketing.

Co-chair of The Value of Independents and Small Parties in Canadian Democracy, Lea Johnson states, "A characteristic of genuine democracy is the opportunity for meaningful participation by each citizen. To create this opportunity political freedom has to prevail by the expanded participation of independents and small parties. In this way all votes are widely held ensuring that political equity is broadly shared, the opposition legitimately reflects citizen views and a one or two parties do not form a type of totalitarian pseudo-democracy."

Jamie Lee Hamilton the other co-chair of The Value of Independents and Small Parties in Canadian Democracy states, " It is imperative that our democracy has independent-minded citizens who are not tied to political machines voicing ideas and putting forth their ideas and platforms to an engaged and informed electorate. Too often, we have witnessed political power vested in the hands of backrooms and backroom operatives and this has thwarted the political will of citizens and has stilted democracy. We can do so much better than this".

Confirmed Independent speakers include Council candidates John Boychuk, Steve Wansleeben, Lea Johnson, parks candidate Jamie Lee Hamilton, Mayoral candidate Marc Emery and invitations have been sent to the Workless, Marijuana and Nude Garden parties. The Workless has also confirmed they are sending a speaker

The Independents and Small Parties in Canadian Democracy Forum is on Sunday November 9 from 2pm-4pm at the Billy Bishop Legion at 1407 Laburnum Street in Kitsilano.