Students Hang Giant Banners in Support of Electoral Reform



    Bring the Message to Voters During the Morning Commute

    TORONTO, Oct. 4 /CNW/ - Toronto-During this morning's rush hour commute,
students from Ryerson University, the University of Toronto and York
University hung 10 foot by 30 foot banners from four highway overpasses to
draw attention to the referendum on electoral reform that is being conducted
along with the Ontario general election. Banners were displayed from:

    
    -   the Bloor Street Viaduct above the Don Valley Parkway;
    -   a Mississauga Road overpass above the 403;
    -   the Sunnyside Pedestrian Bridge above the Gardiner Expressway; and
    -   a Weston Road overpass above the 401.
    

    Since returning to college and university campuses last month, students
have been organising public discussion panels about the referendum,
distributing information leaflets and even delivering the Students for
Electoral Reform campaign message door-to-door.
    "College and university students know it's time to change the voting
system," said Jen Hassum, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of
Students-Ontario. "Every voter's ballot is supposed to count, but for far too
long our votes have not been properly reflected in the number of seats awarded
to each party because of the current, outdated system."
    "Despite all of its advantages, the odds are heavily stacked against a
positive vote to replace the current system with the more democratic
Mixed-Member Proportional," said Hassum. "With a government-established
'super-majority' threshold of 60%, and a majority required in 60% of Ontario's
ridings, students are worried that the status quo will win by default."
    College and university students across Ontario have endorsed the proposed
Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP) voting system and supported the call of Fair
Vote Ontario and a number of well-respected citizens including Conservative
Senator Hugh Segal, former NDP leader Ed Broadbent and Ryerson University
professor Judy Rebick who are urging voters to read the Citizens' Assembly's
summary leaflet "One Ballot - Two Votes" before voting.
    "We're reminding voters that this opportunity to improve the way we
represent ourselves-instead of just complaining about it-isn't likely to
happen again any time soon," said Hassum. "Students strongly support
democratic reform and we are committed to taking the message off campus, right
to voter's homes and cars, if we have to."

    The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000
college and university students and 35 students' unions across the province.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





For further information:

For further information: Jen Hassum, Chairperson, (416) 925-3825 or
(416) 832-9073 (cell); Joel Duff, Ontario Organiser, (416) 925-3825 or (416)
707-0349 (cell)


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