Dear Democratic Reform Supporters:
We are delighted to invite you to join us in celebrating the 10th anniversary of BC’s remarkable Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform at a dinner in Vancouver on Wednesday, December 10th [get your tickets here – only $40 in advance (includes a 3-course meal, plus a great group of speakers)].
The Assembly: A Brief History:
Ten years ago, the BC government broke new ground in consulting citizens by establishing the Assembly. This was an independent non-partisan group of citizens drawn from across the province – one man and one woman from each of BC’s then-79 electoral districts, plus two Aboriginal representatives. The members were selected by lot from a list of citizens that reflected the gender, age and geographical make-up of British Columbians.
The Assembly spent nearly a year meeting and examining in detail how the province’s current electoral system (Single Member Plurality, more commonly known as First Past the Post) worked and how it failed to support our citizens’ core democratic values. In the end, they recommended that BC adopt a new, more proportional way of voting known as the Single Transferable Vote that they felt would better support these values. As most of you know, STV was endorsed by nearly 58% of voters in 2005, but the government of the day had established a bar of 60% for adoption, so STV was not implemented.
Despite the fact that their recommendation has not yet been adopted, the Assembly itself has proven to be very influential. Its design inspired the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly, and it has been cited as a model for a number of related citizen-focused consultation processes that have happened since, including Oregon’s Citizen Initiative Review, the move in California for a standing Citizens’ Assembly, the Dutch Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, Iceland’s Constitutional Assembly, and last year’s Irish Convention on the Constitution.
The Celebration on Wednesday, December 10th:
Please join us for dinner and discussion on December 10th as we reflect on the BC Citizens’ Assembly and its influence on deliberative dialogue and citizen engagement around the world.
We have a wonderful lineup of speakers for you, including:
- Former Attorney General Geoff Plant
- Assembly Designer Gordon Gibson
- Assembly Chair Jack Blaney
- Assembly Academic Director Prof. Ken Carty
- Assembly Members Wendy Bergerud, Craig Henschel and Shoni Field
Joining us with video messages will be:
- Former Premier Gordon Campbell
- Political Science Professor Fred Cutler
We will also have some ‘participatory activities’ including an STV vote to determine what dinner is served (at the Pink Pearl Chinese restaurant in Vancouver) – this vote really matters!
This will be a wonderful evening of good food and interesting conversation – don’t miss it, and invite your friends! Tickets available by clicking the image above or here. Invite others to buy tickets at tinyurl.com/BCCA10thAnniversaryTix.
Hope to see you in a few weeks!
Yours for a stronger democracy,
President, Fair Voting BC
President, Fair Voting BC