Answers to Questions

 I have been a member of FVC off and on since about 2000. I have been interested in the idea of democratic reform for much longer. I have found FVC a bit closed in and hard to work with, but over the years I have done a fair bit for it. I was on the local board one year. I have done plenty of envelope stuffing for FVC. I made presentations to the citizen's assembly of 2008 and did a lot of leafletting during the referendum.

In this last year, after standing back from it for awhile, I became involved in FVC again. I looked for ways to find out the problem and possible remedies. I participated in the e-mail discussion list and provided some well thought out positions on several topics. I then set up a web site and a separate discussion list so that members who are concerned about what is going on with FVC can learn about the problem and talk about it without being censored.

My time, energy, and financial resources are limited, as I live on a disability pension. However, I do not think it needs a lot of any of these to be an effective board member. I do not fetishize volunteerism. To be effective, FVC needs members, money, and staff. What is needed on the board are people who can think and communicate clearly, and therefore utilize members, money and staff effectively.

If there is one thing I can do well, it is to think and communicate clearly. I also have a lot of experience with social organizations at the grassroots level. I have seen how they succeed and how they fail.

As for campaigns and projects, what are these? I am not aware that FVC has been doing anything at all in recent years. This seems to be part of the problem; nobody knows what is going on inside FVC.

I have no patience with the fake group RaBIT and the people pushing for AV. This is the exact opposite of fair voting principles; that the results of elections reflect the range of opinion as closely as possible, and that as many people as possible have a legislator who they voted for. The conflict over this issue is caused by bad leadership; the mental muscles to confront and expel "hijack artists" is the most basic requirement of a board member of any non profit organization. Educating membership about FVC principles, and informing them of what FVC is doing, has been abysmal.

I have objections to groups who abuse their followers by wasting their time and energy and money because they do not know what they are doing, and are not clear and honest about their aims. I think this is one reason why it is so hard these days to get anyone to volunteer for anything, or take any initiative. To motivate people, be clear about what you want them to do and why.

To communicate effectively, first of all you have to have something to say. FVC needs to perfect what it is trying to say to people, and get it out there. Then the membership will come. There has been this tendency to get bogged down in the details of voting systems. This is irrelevant to FVC's purpose, because it is the public which must decide which form of proportional representation is used, not us.

FVC needs to place more emphasis on public education about not just voting systems, but democratic systems. This includes direct and participatory democracy, such as citizen's assemblies. As has been shown in Toronto, if no one leads on democratic reform, those pushing false reforms will move into the vacuum.

What I would like FVC-T  to do,  once a year, is hold a local democracy fair, to bring to people how things are done in  other cities around the world.  It needs a real web site and an electronic newsletter.  We also need some serious fundraising to support the above.