Vote for PR - Vote for Option A

In a referendum from January 2 to February 2, 2013, Fair Vote Canada's members will decide whether Fair Vote should continue to support Proportional Representation (Option A) or change course to support the Alternative Vote (Option B) to elect councils in municipalities without political parties.

Fair Vote Canada was founded to support one powerful idea: that every vote should count. It has never supported "winner-take-all" systems like the Alternative Vote (AV) or First Past the Post to elect legislative bodies, and it shouldn't start now.

The problems with the Alternative Vote are well documented on these resource pages. All of the same problems would be present at the municipal level, and supporting AV there would be the thin edge of the wedge for spreading AV to other levels of government and derailing real reform.

Please click the button below to download and read why Fair Vote Canada National Councillors are Supporting Proportional Representation (Option A) in the referendum, and take a moment to like us on Facebook, or to forward this site to other Fair Vote members you know.


More Information on the Alternative Vote

Just what is the Alternative Vote, and how would it impact electoral reform in Canada? Make sure to learn about the problems it would introduce (and why PR is better) by visiting the site link below or emailing your questions to
No2AV - Why the Alternative Vote is No Alternative

What they're saying.......

Don't just take our word for it, read what these long-time Fair Voters have to say about the choice between Proportional Representation (Option A) and the Alternative Vote (Option B):

Anita Nickerson, FVC National Council
Jim Harris
National Advisory Board, Fair Vote Canada
Former Leader, Green Party of Canada
Full statement

This referendum is not about whether you personally feel any particular city would be better, worse or the same with run-off voting for councils.

If you support run-off voting in a particular locality, join or form a local group outside of Fair Vote Canada and promote it.

This referendum is about whether Fair Vote Canada, the national citizens organization for proportional representation, should fundamentally change its mandate right now to endorse a winner take all system for the election of any municipal body.

While I love Dave Meslin, his energy and effectiveness at campaigning on issues, I ONLY support the AV system for electing a single office – such as Mayor – or in the US President. For electing a single office it works well.

But in electing a city council I strongly reject this system. MMP or STV create a far, far more proportional result.

Having Fair Vote Canada accept this for municipal council elections would set a dangerous precedent. To have an AV system at the municipal level would be the thin edge of the wedge for the introduction of AV at the provincial and federal level – which would be a horrific blow to electoral reform.
I personally urge you to vote for Option A.

Sharon Sommerville, FVC Volunteer
Liberals for Fair Voting

Fair Vote Ontario,
Jan 9, 2013 
Aamir Hussain, Option A Campaign Co-Chair
Past Toronto Chapter executive.

Creator: Wasted Votes

My concern is that the adoption of AV in the City of Toronto will add momentum to the Liberal strategists who are set on AV. It could shift the debate within the party in their favour as well as build public support in the media for AV in general and federally in particular.

For Fair Vote to support AV, when we need to be the voice for proportional representation would make the job for those of us toiling in the trenches of the Liberal Party much more difficult.

After all both FPTP and AV as systems are perfectly fine with some candidate getting elected to council or parliament with 50%+1 of the vote while the rest of the electorate is treated as completely irrelevant , unimportant, and not worthy of representation.

It's *those* unrepresented and wasted votes that Fair Vote Canada was built to champion and advocate for and supporting AV for election to any sort of legislative body would be a complete abdication of that responsibility and cause.

Dr. James Gilmour, Edinburgh Scotland
Recommended STV in local elections in Scotland
Prof. Dennis Pilon, York University
Will "Ranked Ballots" lead to PR? October 18, 2012

A change to AV would have no effect whatsoever on representation in the 24 [Toronto] wards where the FPTP winners each got more than half of the ward votes.

In those wards second and subsequent preferences would never be looked at and would count for nothing.
In the 20 wards with "minority members", AV would improve the representation. But overall, that would have only a very small effect on the representation of the voters on the Council….a gain of 5.25%

If you look historically how countries make changes to their systems, …..we have often heard the rhetoric of incremental change, but it has never occurred. …I don’t see a lot of historical support for that idea.

I have spent the past 25 supporting proportional systems, not majority voting.

Julien Lamarche
President, National Capital Region Chapter
Joyce Hall, Toronto Chapter Co-Chair,
Women for Fair Voting, Outeach to Owen Sound

In Alternative Vote (aka Instant Runoff), your vote only counts if you agree with 50% of your riding. That's actually higher than our current system. AV diminishes the representation of ethnic & linguistic minorities, women, the poor and environmental concerns.

Dans le système du vote alternative, votre vote compte seulement si vous êtes en accord avec 50% de votre circonscription. C'est un taux qui est en fait plus haut que notre système actuel. Le vote alternatif diminue la représentation des minorités ethniques & linguistiques, des femmes et des plus démunis de notre société.

One of us in our small action group who is new to the issue of electoral reform pointed out that fairness in elections is complex for newcomers to understand.

Sometimes it seems so, but I suggested that as long as you understand the results of various systems, you don't understand all the ins and outs of every system.

In any case, we know that multi-member electoral districts have been proven necessary to get any measurable improved results for women and minorities. Hey! That's all we need to know to choose option A.

June Macdonald,
Option A Campaign Co-Chair
Toronto Chapter Executive, FVC National Council
Personal Statement
Steve Withers, PR campaigner in Canadian and New Zealand referenda.
Canuck living in New Zealand

FVC listserve, Jan 12, 2013
"Unlike Vegas, what happens in TO does not stay in TO." Ten percent of Canada’s population lives in Toronto. if Toronto ends up with Alternative Vote (aka Ranked ballots in a single ward) for their councillors, approximately a nanosecond will pass before people start asking, why not for the legislature or why not for Parliament?

That is why choosing a voting system for Toronto Council can affect us all.

If in Toronto please ask your councillor for a transparent public process to choose the best system for Toronto. See what we want:
The result of using AV in the Australian lower house in the federal Parliament is enough for me to prefer almost anything else.

The Aussies have had a rigid, two-bloc system (ALP vs Liberal / National "coalition") for a century thanks to AV. It took over 80 years for another party (the Greens) to even win one seat.


If you want a fair and representative body elected, you don't use AV.