Tag Archives: press releases

Listen to the people on electoral reform, says Green Party

From http://www.greenparty.ca/en/releases/18.04.2007

A fair system for electing members of parliament.

OTTAWA – The results of Ontario’s public consultation on electoral reform send a clear signal to the federal government to abandon its ludicrous “private” public consultation and start listening to what Canadians want – a fair system for electing members of parliament, Green Party leader Elizabeth May said today.

“The Harper government promised in the Throne Speech to consider reforming our archaic first-part-the-post voting system,” said May, “but they have no real interest in changing a system that puts them in power with 36% of the vote.”

This became clear, she said, when the government appointed a conservative think tank to run the closed-door focus groups that will be the basis for its “public” consultation on electoral reform.

May called for an open and transparent nationwide consultation on the issue. “Ontario’s Citizens’ Assembly is a great model,” she said, “and the fact that it has come out overwhelmingly in favour of the change to proportional representation proves that this is an idea whose time has come.”

Green Party electoral reform spokesperson Chris Tindal said that members of the Citizens’ Assembly underwent intensive education and public consultation phases, and heard from all view points before reaching their decision.

“It was a truly democratic, grassroots and unbiased process, in stark contrast to the Harper government’s current $900,000 closed-door think tank process, which can produce questionable results at best,” he said.

“Politicians should take note of the overwhelming majority (92%) by which the Citizens’ Assembly voted in favour of change. This proves that not only do most people want a fair voting system, but that their support for proportional representation increases the more they know about it.”

“Democracy belongs to citizens, not politicians,” said Tindal. “For too long, Canadians have sensed that something is wrong with their voting system but have not known what to do about it. Ontario now has a chance to take democracy back. The rest of Canada deserves the same chance.”


Green Candidate Chris Tindal Congratulates Graham, Calls for Open Nomination


February 23, 2007, Toronto – Chris Tindal, nominated candidate for the Green Party of Canada in Toronto Centre, congratulated Bill Graham today on his thirteen years of service as the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre, after Graham announced to his riding executive yesterday that he will not seek re-election.

“Bill is extremely well respected by people in this riding, myself included,” said Tindal. “He’s one of the best the Liberals had, and he’ll be hard to replace.”

Tindal ran against Graham in the last federal election, increasing the percentage of the Green vote by a factor of 47%.

Tindal is the Democratic Reform advocate for the Green Party, and called on the Liberal Party to ensure a fair and open nomination contest to select its next candidate. “It’s very important to the health of our democracy that local party members be allowed to select the candidate who can best represent them.”

The Green Party is the only party to have nominated a candidate in Toronto Centre for the next federal election, which could come as soon as the spring. Party leader Elizabeth May has said that Toronto will be a priority for Greens in the next campaign.


My First Press Release

Well, actually, this was my first press release, but this morning’s release (on the wire here) is my first as Democratic Reform Advocate. See below.

Harper Can’t Dictate Democracy, Green Party Says
Senate reform must be decided by people, not politicians

OTTAWA, Dec. 14 /CNW Telbec/ – The Conservative government is overstepping its bounds by attempting to unilaterally change this country’s democratic systems, Green Party of Canada democratic reform advocate Chris Tindal said today.

“Democracy isn’t just another political issue,” said Tindal. “Our democratic systems need, by definition, to be determined by citizens, not just politicians. They especially shouldn’t be dictated by a Prime Minister whose party received just a little more than a third of the vote in the last general election.”

The Canadian Senate, while in need of reform, has traditionally played an important role in Canadian politics as a place of sober second thought and long-term planning. Any good ideas that the government’s proposal may include, such as a move towards proportional representation, lack legitimacy unless they come directly from citizens.

“The Senate is just one piece of the very complicated web that makes up our democracy,” added Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “To tinker with it in isolation from other democratic systems, and without an appreciation for the many functions and long history of the Senate, is dangerous to say the least.”

The Green Party of Canada recognizes the need for democratic reform, including Senate reform. Greens support the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly to determine what Senate reform is necessary, similar to the Citizens’ Assembly dealing with proportional representation that is currently under way in Ontario.