For #IWD2021 we celebrate the remarkable achievements of Green Party women in Canada.
Here in Brantford—Brant, Nora Fueten has been our most successful Candidate so far, winning 7% of the vote when she ran in the old riding of Brant in 2008.
I was fortunate to have Nora’s wisdom as my Campaign Manager in the 2019 Brantford—Brant federal election..
Elizabeth May made history as the very first Green elected in Canada when she became the Member of Parliament representing Saanich—Gulf Islands in B.C.
Elizabeth served as the Leader of the Green Party of Canada from 2006 to 2019. Although she stepped down as leader, Elizabeth continues to serve as MP and Green Parliamentary Leader.
On May 9th, 2017 Sonia Furstenau was elected as the B.C. Greens MLA for Cowichan Valley, making history as a member of the first provincial Green Party caucus in Canada. Sonia was chosen Leader of the BC Greens on September 14, 2020.
On November 27th, 2017 Hannah Bell was elected to MLA for District 11 – Charlottetown-Belvedere under the PEI Greens Banner.
In New Brunswick, Megan Mitton was elected MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar on September 24, 2018. She was re-elected in 2020.
The Green Party of Prince Edward Island has earned the distinction of forming first Green Official Opposition in Canadian history.
Lynne Lund, MLA for District 21 – Summerside-Wilmot, Michele Beaton, MLA for District 5 – Mermaid-Stratford, Karla Bernard, MLA for District 12 – Charlottetown-Victoria Park and Trish Altass, MLA for District 23 – Tyne Valley-Sherbrook joined Hannah Bell, giving this Opposition Party a majority of women.
In 2019 Jenica Atwin was elected in Fredericton, NB, making her the third elected MP of the Green Party of Canada. Jenica makes history as the first federal Green MP from New Brunswick, and her presence in the federal GPC Caucus makes it another majority of women.
Last year the Green Party of Canada chose Annamie Paul as its new Leader. Again, the only woman leading a Canadian federal political party is a Green. Not only does our new leader have impeccable credentials, she again makes history as the first black leader of a major Canadian political party, as well as only the second Jewish leader of a major Canadian political party. Clearly Canada has a lot of work to do on the diversity front.
Annamie Paul will make an excellent Prime Minister.
…would begin to address Canadian gender bias and inequality, creating a more inclusive Canada.
Canada’s voting system has contributed greatly to the marginalization of women in our Legislatures. In all of Canada’s history we have had but a single woman serve as Prime Minister. And it is important to note that Conservative PM Kim Campbell didn’t come by the job through a General Election, she was left holding the bag for outgoing PM Brian Mulroney. And that election saw the Progressive Conservative Party reduced from an actual majority government to just 2 seats in the House. Is it any wonder there hasn’t been another female Prime Minister since?
While I am pleased to see women beginning to take their rightful place in Canadian governance, they shouldn’t have to make so much history. A good Representative Democracy should represent and reflect its citizens in all their diversity. A voting system that fails on such a basic level is inappropriate for a Representative Democracy.
After an extensive cross country consultation with Canadians and experts from around the world, Prime Minister Trudeau’s Electoral Reform Committee recommended adoption of a Proportional Representation voting system. But because that wasn’t the winner-take-all system the PM favored, rather than fulfilling this key election promise, he pulled the plug on his own process, leaving Canadians to struggle with a voting system in which every vote does not count.
Instead of fulfilling this commitment to Canadians, the Prime Minister boasted of delivering Canada’s first gender balanced Cabinet. But as we saw with the 2015 Liberal majority government, our “feminist” PM used his power to summarily silence the voices of women in that Cabinet by ousting Jody Raybould Wilson and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus.
Canada is the only OECD nation without a single instance of Proportional Representation at any level of government, making it singularly difficult for us to understand the significance of a voting system in determining election outcomes. The clearest example of the difference between winner-take-all and proportional voting system can be found in this Australian government graph that indicates the number of women elected to their disproportional House of Representatives (represented by the green lines) and comparing it to the number of women elected to their proportionally elected Senate (represented by red lines.) The same voters elected both houses of the Australian Parliament in the same elections, and the different election outcomes were certainly influenced by the voting systems.
In a white patriarchy saddled with a First Past The Post voting system it is much easier for a white man to get elected. Which makes it far more difficult to convince women and more diverse candidates to stand for election.
The Green Party is committed to meaningful electoral reform to Proportional Representation so that Canadians will get the diverse representation we deserve. The more voices at the table, the better our public policy will be.
It is interesting to note that the very first Canadian woman ever elected to public office was Calgary’s Annie Gale, elected with the Proportional Representation voting system..
Proportional Representation won’t just level the playing field, it will tone down the rhetoric and personal attacks that also arise from our adversarial system, making the political system less toxic. I have no doubt we will get more women in politics with a fair voting system. It is 2021, after all.
Everyone should know where their drinking water comes from and that it is being protected.
Did you know Waterloo Region relies on groundwater for drinking water, which comes from underwater aquifers?
When it rains or snow melts, the water soaks into the ground to fill the spaces between sand grains, rock or gravel in the aquifer.
The Region of Waterloo manages over 120 wells that supply groundwater to homes and businesses; meanwhile, there are thousands of private wells that get water from various depths.
Attend the event and listen to experts and community members talk about the importance of protecting our groundwater and the threats to it.
Following the educational speakers, you will be given the opportunity to join other community members in a meeting with your local councillors/mayor. This is the perfect opportunity to engage in conversations that are important to you. (this is optional)
Sign-in early and stay a bit later to listen to local environmental musicians
***Special attention to people on private wells. You don’t want to miss the information you will learn at this event.
*** The speaker session will be recorded and sent out to people who have registered for the event. The breakout rooms will not be recorded.
6:45 pm ** Listen to music from a local musician
7:00 pm ** Event starts
7:10 pm ** What is groundwater? Learn about where our drinking water comes from and why it is important to protect it.
7:20 pm ** Guest expert Simon Courtenay: Director of the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability (SERS) at University of Waterloo
Your own health is the sum of all things that go on. What we end up with is the sum of what has gone on and what will go on in the area. It is much easier to keep water clean in the first place than correct it later. If you have 1 thing in water you can predict the effects. If you have 2 or 3 or 4 things it starts getting much harder.
7:35 pm ** Guest expert Susan Bryant: Elmira groundwater contamination expert.
Preventing contamination in the first place is the only real option for the environment—the cheapest and most effective one
7:50 pm ** Guest expert Theresa McClenaghan: Executive Director and Counsel for Canada’s Environmental Law Association
What is the Source Protection Plan? How is it related to Walkerton? How are risks to our water identified and how can it be the SPP be improved? Our municipal wells are protected by the SPP but our private wells are not.
8:10 pm ** Sam Lernout: Citizens for Safe Ground Water
8:20 pm ** Leah Gerber: Grand River Watershed Reporter at Waterloo Region Record
8:30 pm ** ‘Townhall’ breakout rooms with local councillors/mayors and fellow community members.
** Listen to music by a local musician
This event is being organized by Citizen’s for Safe Ground Water
Visit our website to learn more about our current campaigns
We are also always actively looking for volunteers in order to better protect our water. Email us at email@example.com
On behalf of the Brant Greens, I’d like to add our congratulations to Annamie Paul, the Green Party of Canada’s newly minted leader. In the days following the election, Annamie rose to the challenge, demonstrating over and over why she is our best choice to take the GPC to the next level. So far the volume of media exposure has been stunning, and Ms. Paul has kept the string of press conferences and interviews lively, bringing many facets of GPC policy into the national conversation. Brava!
In Canada, most political parties use a preferential ballot to choose their party leaders.
When the ERRE Parliamentary Process for Electoral Reform didn’t to deliver Justin Trudeau’s favourite voting system, the then-new Prime Minister used his majority power to pull the plug on the whole thing.
The voting system Justin Trudeau wanted goes by many different names, depending where in the world you are and who is selling it. Winston Churchill called it the Alternative Vote (AV), and it is also familiar to Americans as Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) or Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). The system uses a preferential or ranked ballot, so Canadian Liberals have promoted it as “Preferential Ballot” or “ranked ballot”.
But no matter what name you use, citizens, parliamentarians, and experts alike rejected it, as it is another winner-take-all voting system that fails to deliver Proportional Representation.
But this voting system is considered acceptable in Canadian elections for political party leaders where there can only be a single winner. Alternative Vote is considered an improvement on First Past The Post because it decreases the impulse to vote strategically when party members share the same values. The ability to rank all candidates frees voters to vote sincerely and allow the membership to choose a leader acceptable to a majority of voters.
23,877 ballots were cast by GPC members, so 11,939 votes (50% +1) were needed to win the leadership. When all the votes are cast and counted, none of the eight candidates achieved that on the first count, so the last place candidate was eliminated, and ballots cast for them were redistributed to the remaining candidates based on the next choice on the ballot. This proccess was then repeated through eight rounds of counting before a winner was declared.
If the Green Party of Canada were to adopt a co-leadership model, as Greens in the UK do, we could have used the Single Transferable Vote to determine our co-leaders. When used in such a multi winner election, a preferential ballot can be used to achieve Proportional Representation.
An STV election works in much the same way as AV/IRV, but instead of a single candidate winning with a majority of votes, the winners would each need to reach a vote quota determined by the number of voters and number of positions available.
This time, however, the first votes to be redistributed are the excess votes the candidates received when they exceed the quota. If all winners have not been elected after the excess votes have been transferred to other candidates, the candidate with the least number of votes would be eliminated, and their ballots would be redistributed to those remaining.
Again, the process would be repeated until all quotas are reached.
“Annamie Paul with Green Party of Canada supporters” © by Annamie Paul released under a Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike License CC BY-SA
Voting in the Green Party of Canada 2020 leadership contest ends today at 3:30 pm Pacific Time, here in Ontario at 6 pm Eastern Time, or at 7pm Atlantic Time.
If you haven’t already cast your ballot, don’t delay!
Members already have received their ballots. If you haven’t, contact the party by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-866-868-3447 for assistance. It would be terrible to miss your chance to have a say in what candidate David Merner correctly describes as the most important decision the Green Party of Canada has made in 13 years.
Every green member should vote for what you want. We have a great slate of candidates, and I recommend ranking every candidate to ensure your vote counts.
The Green Party leader will be chosen after the ballots are counted tonight (October 3rd, 2020).
All Leadership contestants will gather in Ottawa for the results, and members are invited to join in virtually through the live broadcast on
I can’t improve on what Paul Manly wrote:
“I made a pledge to remain neutral during this leadership contest and I am sticking to that commitment. There are some brilliant candidates in this contest to choose from. The membership is going to decide on our new leader and I will respect that choice. I pledge to work with whoever becomes the new leader.
Despite any differences we have, it is the things we agree on as Greens that bind us together. We are a party that puts people and the planet ahead of corporate profits. We believe in service above self. We know what we want for our children and grandchildren, and we want those things for all humankind.
I am looking forward to working with the new leader of the Green Party of Canada. I’m grateful to the leadership candidates for stepping up and giving their all to this campaign.”
Don’t delay. VOTE.
Green Party of Canada members are currently voting for the next party leader. There are eight candidates, representing a wide spectrum of ideas, policies, and philosophies. Naturally, this has polarized the Green Party membership, who really like some candidates, and really dislike some others.
Because there are candidates with widely (wildly?) divergent views from some Green Party members, some of those members have decided to rank only their top choices, not wanting to give any weight to candidates they don’t like. That’s a mistake — a form of strategic voting, and it doesn’t work with ranked ballots.
If you mark only two or three candidates (or only one!) then your ballot may become exhausted after only two or three rounds of counting. Exhausted ballots are removed from counting and don’t have any further influence over the outcome of the election. It’s like First-Past-The-Post all over again, your vote is essentially wasted.
This leadership election is likely to be a very tight race, and it is likely that it will take seven rounds of counting to establish a winner. If your ballot is incomplete, you won’t be participating in those final rounds, and you’ll have no say in who becomes the next leader of the Green Party of Canada.
Especially if you have strong views against a particular candidate, it is better to rank them last on the ballot than to leave them off altogether. Ranking them last ensures your second-least favourite candidate still has a chance to edge out your least favourite candidate in the last round of counting, should it come to that.
Here’s an example of a ranked ballot election where exhausted ballots could have changed the outcome of the election, if only those ballots had been completed…
For the Green Party leadership election, the voting is done online (except for a few mail-in ballots). But for the sake of simplicity, let’s imagine we’ve all been issued paper ballots with five lines on which we can write in the names of five candidates.
In our example, one thousand voters cast their ballots, and the ballots are sorted into five piles based on the first vote position. This is the first round of voting.
|First Round Results|
|Alice Able||Bertie Baker||Evan Eager||Diane Dollar||Charlie Canvas||(exhausted ballots)|
All the ballots have a name in the first position, so there are no exhausted ballots in the first round of counting. No candidate has a majority (50% of 1000 plus one, or 501 votes), so the ballots for the candidate with the lowest count (Charlie Canvas) are redistributed to the other candidates based on the second choice on those ballots, and the first choice is crossed out.
Here are some sample ballots from Charlie Canvas’s pile of 100. Some voters have decided to rank only certain candidates, and have not completed their ballot:
|Ballots for re-distribution|
In this example Charlie Canvas’s 100 ballots are redistributed, 25 to each of the remaining candidates. The ballots are counted again, in a second round:
|Second Round Results|
|Alice Able||Bertie Baker||Evan Eager||Diane Dollar||(exhausted ballots)|
In our example, Diane Dollar now has more votes than Evan Eager, and edges ahead.
Again, no-one has a majority, so again the ballots for the last place candidate, Evan Eager, are redistributed. The ballots with Evan Eager as first choice are redistributed to the second choice candidate, but the ballots with Charlie Canvas as first choice and Evan Eager as second choice are redistributed based on the third choice candidate.
Here are some samples from Evan Eager’s 195 ballots:
|Ballots for re-distribution|
Incomplete ballots that list only Charlie Canvas and Evan Eager are “exhausted”, and removed from the count. Exhausted ballots can no longer influence the outcome of the election.
Evan Eager’s 195 ballots are redistributed: 50 to Alice Able, 75 to Bertie Baker, 50 to Diane Dollar, and 20 are exhausted:
|Third Round Results|
|Alice Able||Bertie Baker||Diane Dollar||(exhausted ballots)|
Because there are 20 exhausted ballots there are now only 980 valid ballots, so a majority is now 50% of 980 plus one, or 491. No candidate has a majority.
This time, Diane Dollar’s ballots are redistributed, some to the second choices where Diane Dollar was first choice, some to the third choice where Charlie Canvas or Evan Eager were first and second choices, and even some to the fourth choice where Charlie Canvas, Evan Eager, and Diane Dollar were first, second and third choices:
|Ballots for re-distribution|
Diane Dollar’s 255 ballots are redistributed (80 to Alice Able, 120 to Bertie Baker, 55 exhausted), and the redistributed ballots are counted a fourth time:
|Fourth Round Results|
|Alice Able||Bertie Baker||(exhausted ballots)|
With 75 exhausted ballots a majority is now 50% of 925 plus one, or 463.
…and now there’s a majority! Bertie Baker has 470 votes, 15 more than Alice Able’s 455.
Note that the difference between the first place and second place is less than the number of exhausted ballots. If the people who cast those exhausted ballots had completed the entire ballot, it is entirely possible that the outcome of this election would have been different!
If the 20 exhausted ballots in the Third Round had had a third-place ranking for Alice Able, then Evan Eager’s 195 ballots would have been redistributed with 70 to Alice Able, 75 to Bertie Baker, 50 to Diane Dollar, and 0 exhausted. The outcome would have been:
|Alternate Third Round Results|
|Alice Able||Bertie Baker||Diane Dollar||(exhausted ballots)|
Now, in the fourth round when Diane Dollar’s ballots are redistributed the same way (80 to Alice Able, 120 to Bertie Baker, 55 exhausted) the results are drastically different. With only 55 exhausted ballots the majority is 50% of 945 plus one, or 473, and now Alice Able is the winner!
|Alternate Fourth Round Results|
|Alice Able||Bertie Baker||(exhausted ballots)|
It is very important to compelete your ranked ballot. Even a small difference in third- or fourth place rankings can make a significant difference to the election outcome!
One final observation that has nothing to do with the voting system: I’ll be casting my ballot at the last possible moment, just in case one of the leadership candidates makes a profound announcement in the last few hours that changes my ranking of that candidate. One vote, one ranking position can make all the difference!
Bob Jonkman was the Green Party of Canada candidate for Brantford-Brant in 2019, has been a member of Fair Vote Canada since 2007, and has served on the Executive board of Fair Vote Waterloo between 2010 and 2020.
GPC Leadership events are coming fast and furious as the end of the contest draws near.
There’s another Green Party of Canada Leadership Debate tonight, hosted by the Heartwood Institute. This event plans to focus on how our potential Leaders would go about getting more Green MPs elected and grow the Green movement at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. You can REGISTER HERE: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_pYa_CPOzQnO9x4G3HlMDbQ
Off the Grid:
Sadly Meryam Haddad won’t be able to attend the Heartwood event as she will be hosting her Watermelon Revolution Convention. Convention events start in the afternoon, so it will be possible to catch at least some of it before the Heartwood Debate.To participate in the Q & A you can REGISTER HERE: https://meryam2020.us18.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=316067281a43bb8a1f45fe8dd&id=b12cb0b1b5
Watermelon Revolution Schedule
4:30 (ET) Land Back
5:20 Police Abolition
6:10 Green Jobs
7:00 Building a Coalition
7:45 Chat with Meryam
French Language Green Party of Canada Leadership Debate
Details are still being worked out for this one, scheduled to happen on September 25th, the last day before voting begins. Check out the GPC Leadership Contest Page for details.
October 3rd, 2020: Election night!
At long last, the ballots will be counted and the new leader of the Green Party will be announced. Contestants will gather in Ottawa for the results and we encourage you to join us virtually! Follow the excitement as the GPC broadcasts it live on Youtube and Facebook.
Tonight you’re invited to join Green Party MP Paul Manly as he hosts a virtual national town hall with Coalition Canada: Basic Income in discussion about the Guaranteed Livable Basic Income. The panel of experts will explain the basics, consider the benefits, and bust some myths about basic income.
Live simultaneous French translation will be provided.
Thursday, 10 September 2020 at 7:00pm EDT
You’ll be able to watch it on Youtube:
Or sign up for the Facebook event:
Although the deadline to join the Green Party of Canada to vote for leader is past, non-members are invited to follow the race. Our original field of ten candidate nominees has been reduced to eight on the ballot:
(of course, you can join the Green Party of Canada at any time, then you can participate in other GPC activities!)
It’s not too late! You have until tomorrow– Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 to join the Green Party of Canada (or renew your lapsed membership) in time to vote for the next Green Party of Canada Leader.
Judy N Green has withdrawn her candidacy and thrown her support behind David Merner, so now the candidate nominees are down to 8: