Saturday, January 23, 2010

Prorogue Apathy Today!

We need a new, proportional voting system now! It's not fair that most of our votes don't count. It's not fair that most of us are "represented" by people we voted against. It's not fair that one political party gets all the power, even though most people voted against them. It's not fair that Conservative voters can't elect anybody in Toronto, that Liberal voters can't elect anybody in Alberta, that NDP voters are under-represented by half, and that Green voters can't elect anybody anywhere. We need a voting system that makes every vote count, no matter where you live or how you vote.

Sign the Declaration of Voters' Rights The prorogation problem is just the latest in a long series of actions by governments of various stripes to diminish our democracy and shift power into the Prime Minister's Office. It's not just about Stephen Harper. The core problem is that our antique, winner-take-all voting system does not allow us to hold politicians and political parties accountable. Proportional voting is the normal way of doing things in most developed countries, and has been for 100 years.

Join Fair Vote Canada (www.FairVote.Ca) and support our campaign for electoral reform. The people elected under the current system tend to think that the current system is working just fine. Electoral reform is about voters taking power away from political party elites. They won't just hand it over. We will not get a fair voting system until the people demand it. That would be you.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Year Seven Begins!

Yes, we at Gordon's Acoustic Living Room are about to begin our seventh year of playing every month at the Free Times CafĂ©, 320 College Street, just west of Spadina. As usual, it's on the third Sunday of the month, which happens to be January 17. As usual, we will play from 8 pm until 11, but it's a small room—get there early! As usual, no cover, no minimum.

And of course, on Monday, January 25, we present the Seventh Annual Burns Night celebration. This is how it all started for us at the Free Times. For this one night of the year, the band is called The Burns Unit. Show starts at 9:30 pm, but the room is even more crowded than usual, so do get there early. Haggis? Of course! And neeps and tatties and poetry too—that's the only way we keep attendance down low enough to fit everyone in.

Also coming soon:

The regular last-Tuesday-of-the-month with the Mississauga Big Band Jazz Ensemble at Arnold's Sports Bar, 485 Morden Road in Oakville. Eighteen musicians, five bucks—can't beat that for value! 8-10 pm

And EVERY Tuesday at the The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Avenue, just south of Dundas, get Rambunctious. More horns than you can shake a stick at and Eva Moon on drums. No tunes, we just make it up as we go along. Impossible to describe, you've got to see it and hear it. Starts at 11 pm.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Prorogue Apathy Now!

The action of the Canadian government in proroguing (cancelling) Parliament to save their political butts, not once but twice, has unleashed a storm of political outrage. The Facebook group Canadians against Proroguing Parliament has exploded to over 80,000 members in just a few days, and it’s not the only one. Protest rallies are being organized all over Canada for Saturday, January 23.

Friends of Fair Vote Canada will know that this is only the latest in a series of actions by governments of different political stripes to diminish the relevance of Parliament and concentrate power in the office of the Prime Minister, and that the root problem is our inability to hold politicians and political parties accountable because of our antique, winner-take-all voting system.

Opportunities for political change come along only once in a while. This is one of those opportunities! Act now!

Here’s what to do:

 Sign the Declaration of Voters’ Rights: Forward this message to all your contacts and ask them to do the same.

 Download and print off a copy of the Declaration of Voters’ Rights, get ten signatures, and mail it to Fair Vote Canada.

 Attend one of the anti-proroguing rallies with copies of the Declaration and get more signatures.

Here are more ways to build a better democracy in Canada:

 Join Fair Vote Canada and support us with your donation:

 Join our Facebook and Twitter groups and become a fan. Share with your online friends.

 Get involved with Fair Vote Canada as a volunteer and join your local chapter