Our City – Our Charter Election Update

Dear Democratic Reform Supporters:
In our last couple of newsletters, we told you about our exciting Our City – Our Charter (OCOC) campaign to change Vancouver’s city charter so that we can seriously consider changing our voting system.  Step 1 was to ask the candidates for their commitment to this goal.
What We Asked the Candidates:
We asked the mayoral and council candidates if they would, if elected, re-issue the previous calls by Council on the provincial government to:
  1. Change the Charter to give the City greater flexibility in designing an electoral system that best meets the needs and expectations of its citizens,
  2. Work with Vancouver to design a system of restrictions on campaign contributions and spending for municipal elections, and institute a program of tax credits (Berger’s recommendations 18-20), and
  3. Change the Charter to allow the City to publish detailed, anonymized ballot data (as unanimously requested by Council in 2012).
What They Said (No-One Turned Us Down!):
Vision, the NPA and the Green Party all responded on behalf of all their candidates that they agreed to reissue this call.  Meena Wong (COPE mayoral candidate), as well as COPE Council candidates Wilson Munoz, Lisa Barrett, Tim Louis and Jennifer O’Keeffe, also agreed (no response was received from the other COPE Council candidates).
Independent candidates Lena Ling, Mike Hansen, Grant Fraser and Rick Orser also agreed.  No response was received by any other candidates.
Fair Voting BC recommends that you take the commitments above into account as you vote this week – we are delighted to have received near-unanimous support for Charter change!
Two Simple Ways to Build the Pressure (<1 min each):
Getting the candidates’ commitments was Step 1 in our campaign.  To build the pressure for change, we need to show that all of Vancouver is behind this, so here are two simple things you can do (<1 min each) to give our campaign a big boost:
  1. Visit the Our City – Our Charter website and put yourself on our map of supporters (there’s also an email signup link there if you want to volunteer to help us reach out)

  2. Help us find non-profit organizations in Vancouver who might consider endorsing OCOC – just visit our Google Form and give us contact info for an organization you’re involved with (or invite them yourself).  These could be political, cultural, social, charitable, faith-based or almost anything else – as long as you’re involved with them and think they might support a push for better, fairer elections.
We’ll keep you updated as the election gets closer if any other candidates join the ones listed above in supporting Our City – Our Charter.
Yours for a stronger democracy,
Antony Hodgson
President, Fair Voting BC