What's up with Fair Vote Canada?

Today, I received an email from the B for Balance team, part of Fair Vote Canada. Fair Vote Canada recently held a referendum and the B for Balance team was advocating for Option B which states;

"Fair Vote Canada supports the Alternative Vote for municipal council elections where no parties exist" and that line be added to the paragraph on Proportional Representation in the Statement of Purpose. 
I'm pretty shocked and pissed off about this turn of events. I know Dave Meslin a bit, in fact, he is the guy that got me to join Fair Vote Canada in the first place!  Dave Meslin has been an amazing community organizer and citizen who gets others interested and involved. He's the guy behind the RaBit campaign and in my opinion, anyone who doesn't want Dave Meslin on their team is an idiot. I am canceling my Fair Vote Canada membership and will not be renewing it. I've volunteered for them in the past, and won't be doing that again either. This organization that purports to support democracy is looking more fascist all the time.

Here is a portion of the email that was sent out this afternoon. ...

2) Expulsions from Toronto Fair Vote Executive

We're sad to inform you that three members of Fair Vote Canada have been expelled from the Toronto Chapter Executive.  Katherine Skene, Dave Meslin and Desmond Cole were elected by the local members in 2012 to represent them on the Chapter Executive. But last week, the National Council of Fair Vote informed them that they were all expelled from their elected positions.

They are accused of "Conflict of Interest" because they have volunteered with the Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto (RaBIT).  In the recent membership poll, 45% of Fair Vote members also stated that they support the RaBIT campaign.  So if anyone who supports RaBIT is in a "conflict of interest" with Fair Vote... that means that almost half of our membership are in conflict.

National Council has also banned the following members from seeking office: Sarah Lambert, Marjan Farahbaksh, Gonzalo Riva & Gautam Lamba. They were banned simply because they are listed on the RaBIT website as volunteers.

We're shocked and disappointed to see this happen.  The whole point of Fair Vote Canada is to support "a more consensual type of government and a more civilized style of politics."  Yet, here we are banning our own members, simply because of their personal opinions and advocacy.  We would like to see a more respectful approach within Fair Vote.  We should all be trying to work together, not fighting against each other. 

We believe that these expulsions go against everything Fair Vote Canada stands for. If you are disappointed to hear about the expulsions, please send a message to National Council via our Executive Director, Wayne Smith: wayne.smith@fairvote.ca and our President, Doug Bailie: doug.bailie@fairvote.ca

1 comment:

  1. Fair Vote Canada is an organization promoting proportional representation (PR) at all levels of government. RaBIT is an organization arguing that PR is neither feasible nor desirable in the City of Toronto. These are incompatible objectives. Rather than complaining that the RaBITs were expelled for the Chapter Executive, shouldn't you be asking what they were even doing there in the first place? What next? Should Exxon be allowed to take over the Green Party?