Ontario's Democratic Renewal Secretariat

There is information on the Fair Vote Canada website about the new Democratic Renewal Secretariat of the Ontario government. While this secretariat does not have its own website yet, there is information on the Primier's site.

While I strongly oppose Internet voting, or any other type electronic voting system without the accountability and transparancy of the paper ballot (See: Black Box voting), I do support their other initiatives. I also hope that this secretariat will work with municipalities to bring some of the same modernization to the local level.

Democratic Renewal Secretariat

Ontario's "Westminster" style democracy was imported from Britain over 130 years ago when Ontario was a very different place. The population was far less diverse and voting rights were restricted to a select few.

Since then, Ontario has developed into a diverse province in which all citizens get to have their say. Yet in the last election, only about half of all Ontarians voted. Many have lost faith in a system that, for too long, has been cynically manipulated to promote the interests of the government in power.

It's time to restore people's faith, bring our 19th century democratic traditions into the 21st century and bring citizens -- especially young people -- back to the centre of politics. The new secretariat is a first of its kind in Ontario. It will ensure meaningful reform by consulting with the people of Ontario, engaging youth and working to improve voter turnout.

The secretariat will be responsible for:

  • Spearheading a public consultation and referendum on Ontario's voting system;
  • Establishing fixed election dates;
  • Ensuring that Internet voting is an option;
  • Consulting with citizens on spending limits for political parties;
  • Expanding the role of MPPs in the house; and
  • Banning partisan government advertising by giving the provincial auditor the power to enforce the ban.