Op-Ed: Vote 1 & 2 for PR!

Vote 1&2 for PR HeaderRecently, Elections PEI launched a website and education campaign to let people know more about their options for electoral reform in the upcoming provincial plebiscite. Their website, http://www.yourchoicepei.ca, provides information about each of five electoral options and asks Islanders, “Is it time for a change?”

The PEI Coalition for Proportional Representation answers that question with a big YES. We think it is time for a change, and that the best change would be proportional representation.

Proportional Representation (PR) is an electoral system where every vote counts because the distribution of seats in the Legislature matches the popular vote. If 40% of Islanders vote for the Dog Party, the Dog Party receives 40% of the seats. PR eliminates the unfair advantage the current system (First-Past-the-Post) gives to winners and the unfair disadvantage it gives to all others. This unfair advantage is what confers majority governments and 100% of the power on parties that earn less than the majority of votes.

The current voting is rigged in favour of the parties that have always governed. Both the Liberals and the PCs have benefitted from disproportionate rewards and suffered disproportionate defeats in the past. The flip-flops from one extreme to the other that we have seen in the past are very unstable.

Part of the problem is that the current system renders a large proportion of voters’ votes ineffective – that is, their votes don’t elect anyone. Only votes for the winner in each district count in making up the legislature. Under proportional representation systems, every vote counts. Every vote is effective. Every vote helps decide the composition of the legislature that is meant to represent the will of the voters.

On the plebiscite ballot, there will be five choices for voters to rank from their most preferred to their least preferred. (One of the five choices is the current first-past-the-post system.) There will two proportional representation options on the ballot. We are urging people to “Vote 1 & 2 for PR”! That means we want voters to look for the word “PROPORTIONAL” on their ballot and make the proportional representation options their #1 and #2 choices.

The two proportional options voters will find on the ballot are called Dual-Member Proportional (DMP) and Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP). Both are proportional systems, which means the distribution of seats matches the distribution of the popular vote. MMP is a mixed system, used in countries such as Scotland, Germany, and New Zealand. You get two votes to elect a local candidate and a province-wide party. DMP is a new system, not used elsewhere. You vote once and get two local representatives. Find out more at our website, peipr.ca.

The plebiscite on democratic renewal is our chance as Islanders to give direct advice to government from the people (the voters) about how we vote in provincial elections and how to make that vote count.

No matter who you vote for, an electoral system based on proportional representation benefits everyone by delivering fair results: it’s fair and square — the party with the most votes gets the most seats.

Submitted by Florence Larkin, member of the Coalition for Proportional Representation

Published in The Charlottetown Guardian today: http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/2016-08-05/article-4607517/Vote-for-options-1-and-2-for-PR/1

What is happening with the Coalition? An Update

The Coalition is reorganizing to make good use of our time and energy in the remaining weeks before the Plebiscite. Marie Burge from the Cooper Institute wrote this update for Coalition members on July 31, 2016.

Things you might like to know:

Dates of Plebiscite:
Friday, October 29, 2016 at noon to Monday, November 7 at 7:00 pm

  • Methods of Voting:
    – On-line and telephone voting every day
    – In-person voting on Friday, November 4, 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm and Saturday, November 5, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Where to vote:
    – From your computer or phone
    – In-person voting can be at any poll across the Island (one poll in each Electoral District, at a designated school)
  • What to vote for:
    The Coalition is campaigning for people to vote for the Proportional Representation (PR) options
    – Dual Member Proportional Representation-DMP and
    – Mixed Member Proportional Representation-MMP)
    The Coalition is not favouring one over the other, but is promoting BOTH models of PR.
  • How to vote for PR:
    The Coalition is encouraging voters to rank the two proportional systems on the ballot as #1 & #2. And then mark the other three as #3, #4, & #5. Given the method of calculating the plebiscite results, if enough people do that (regardless of which one is marked as 1 or which is marked as 2), there will be a higher possibility of ending up with proportional representation.
  • Campaign in place:
    – to get a high percentage (at least 60%) of people to vote
    – to convince the majority of them to vote 1 & 2 for PR.
  • What we need:
    – many, many people across the Island getting a buzz for PR going in their families, organizations, communities, electoral districts
    – volunteers in every district to deliver PR information door-to door
    – lots of media
    – funds to cover campaign expenses

Elections PEI – New Videos

Elections PEI has posted new videos about the upcoming plebiscite! Here are three of them:

General information about the votehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHlDdIKcpF8&feature=youtu.be

About DMPhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdN7Jb1wCBY

About MMPhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fskEeYj4kWo

Frequently Asked Questions about PR

pr-questionWe’ve added a FAQ to our website! https://peipr.ca/faq/

If you have questions that aren’t answered here, post them in the comments, and we’ll do our best to answer them and add them to the FAQ page.

It’s Your Choice! Elections PEI launches education campaign

It’s official! Prince Edward Island’s plebiscite on changing our electoral system will take place this fall, with a mix of online, telephone, and in-person voting over the period from October 29 to November 7, 2016! This is our chance to participate in one vote this fall to make all our future votes more meaningful – to get a Legislature where the seats are proportional to the popular vote. Make your choice voting 1 & 2 for Proportional Representation!

Elections PEI public education team starts Island-wide education today.

Elections PEI public education team starts Island-wide education today.

To review Elections PEI’s resources, visit their website, www.yourchoicepei.ca, or meet their public education team in person. Coalition for PR members from the PEI Coalition for Women in Government and the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women dropped downtown in Charlottetown the Confederation Court Mall today to meet Taya and Justin and to pick up resources.

Is it time for a change, Elections PEI asks? We sure think so. It’s time for elections that put the voters’ interests before the status quo.

 

PR Action Team Launches New Website!

pr-action-team

Exciting news! Coalition member group the PR Action Team‘s new website is up and running today. Visit  www.PRonPEI.vote to pledge your vote for PR and to find out more about upcoming events to promote proportional representation across Prince Edward Island.

Pin It on for PR!

IMG_20160516_160140Look for the Coalition for PR and these nifty flyers and pins at the Dandelion Festival and the Herb Festival and other community events coming up this spring!

Download the printable Website Cards