Ottawa/Queen's Park




The Harmony Centre in Owen Sound was the site of the second live town hall on Electoral Reform in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.  Seventy-nine people attended Wednesday's meeting hosted byBruce Grey Federal Liberal Association in co-operation with local New Democrats, Greens, and non-partisans.

Joyce Hall, a volunteer with Fair Vote Canada, provided an overview of Canada's current system of voting and described various electoral systems being used around the world. Currently Canada, United States and United Kingdom are the only OECD countries using the First Past the Post system.

A panel of four resource people fielded questions - former candidates Kimberley Love (Liberal) and David ERpanelMcLaren (NDP) joined Joyce Hall and Paisley resident and Fair Vote volunteer Sibylle Walke in responding to questions posed by the moderator and members of the audience. Walke had held a forum on electoral reform in Paisley earlier this month that drew over thirty people, all of whom expressed an interest in change from the status quo.

The question and answer period at the Harmony Centre demonstrated the challenge in understanding the complexities of each system, but illustrated that those in the audience were receptive to electoral reform.

71 people indicated their views on electoral reform on a distributed card with 3 options. 63 people supported the need for electoral reform, 4 people wanted our current electoral system and 4 were undecided. These responses were very different from the results of a phone in town hall hosted by MP Larry Miller in which it was reported that all 30 of the callers heard on the call supported maintaining the current system.

Organizers announced that the views of those attending the Owen Sound forum will be reported to Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions. Input from across the county will be provided to an all party Electoral Reform Committee charged with identifying and conducting a study of viable voting systems as well as to examine mandatory voting and on line voting.

source: media release, BGOS Federal Liberal EDA


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