Why We're Asking the Courts to Strike Down First-Past-The-Post

Many Canadians were disappointed when Justin Trudeau decided not to honour his commitment to get rid of Canada’s first-past-the-post voting system. We were too.

History has taught us that we can’t always depend on elected politicians to stand up for civil rights. When politicians don’t stand up for civil rights, it’s up to citizens to fight for those rights in court. Nobody else can do it for us.⁣⁣ That's why we began organizing a court challenge against our broken voting system.⁣⠀

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In the wake of BC's referendum results, here is our next chance to bring pro rep to Canada

The results of the BC referendum on electoral reform are in, and BC voters have chosen to keep first-past-the-post. For anyone who has been working for electoral reform across Canada, these results are disappointing. But, it’s important to recognize that, despite last week’s referendum results, the movement for electoral reform has never had more potential than it has right now.

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Progress Update: BC Results, Strategic Opinion, Next Steps

As you’ve likely heard, the results of the BC referendum on electoral reform are in, and British Columbians have voted to keep first-past-the-post. I was disappointed to hear the results, as I’m sure you were. I’m heartened, however, by the energy and momentum that has been harnessed by pro-reform organizers in BC, and hopeful that we can channel that energy into a stronger movement for proportional representation in Canada. 

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Here's how electoral reform could work in Canada: four alternatives

One of the goals of the Charter Challenge for Fair Voting is to have the Supreme Court of Canada order the government to develop a voting system that is compliant with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

This post introduces the types of voting systems that exist around the world, including the systems that would be strong candidates to replace the first-past-the-post voting system, if the Court were to call for its replacement. 

There are nearly as many voting systems as there are countries in the world, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. In this post, I’ll share some of the basics about what each system looks like in one spot. 

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Charter Challenge: September Update

Here's the latest update on the Charter Challenge for Fair Voting. 

In our last update to you we shared: 
- that we'd raised just under $43,000 to support the Charter Challenge for Fair Voting 
- that we would share another update once once we'd retained legal counsel for the case 

Here's where things are at now: 

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3 quiet revelations about electoral reform that surfaced since parliament last met

It's been two-and-a-half months since the House of Commons last met. Electoral reform is officially no-longer part of the Trudeau government's agenda, but there have been some quiet developments on the electoral reform file nonetheless. 

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July Update: Charter Challenge for Fair Voting

At the time of writing, 426 Canadians have donated $42,998 to bring this case to court! 

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May 31st: Parliament's Last Chance

Update: the vote described below failed. On May 31st, 159 MPs voted against the motion supporting the recommendations of the special committee on electoral reform, and just 146 MPs voted in favour of it.   

On May 31st, members of parliament (MPs) will have one more chance to move forward on electoral reform. On Wednesday, MPs will vote on whether to accept the recommendations of the report from the House of Commons special committee on electoral reform. If that doesn't happen there is only one logical option for supporters of voter-right's. 

 

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The opposite of representation is exclusion

Anyone who watched the 2015 film, Selma, about the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 will not have missed the point where the African-Americans demand that the government fully implement and enforce their right to vote. It generated significant opposition from the whites who controlled the existing exclusive and power-concentrating system.  And though black voting rights continue to be attacked in the US, few would argue that such rights exist and ought not to be proactively honoured.

 

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Like and Follow

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Current Status:

- The case was filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on October 2019.

- Served government with affidavit and evidence package in May 2021.

- Awaiting government affidavits.
 

How you can help

The main way you can help is to support the case financially. We need to raise another $30,000 for the next stage of the case - drafting the factum. You can support the case for as little as a dollar a month.

What to expect

- Fall 2021 to Winter/Early Spring 2022 - draft factum - $30,000 fundraising goal - fundraising underway

- Late Spring/Summmer 2022 - prepare and present oral arguments - $25,000 fundraising goal

- At each step, we set a goal based on our estimate of the costs, and ask supporters to contribute to help us reach that goal, and to ensure the case can continue to move forward.