Students say: It's time to change the system



    Campaign and Website Launched to Support Electoral Reform

    TORONTO, Sept. 13 /CNW/ - Today, students launched a comprehensive
campaign and website calling on Ontario voters to support a Mixed Member
Proportional (MMP) voting system in the province-wide referendum scheduled for
October 10. The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario has formally
registered a referendum campaign with Elections Ontario under the name
"Students for Electoral Reform."
    "The launch of ChangeTheSystem.ca will increase the profile of the
student campaign to modernise Ontario's voting system and educate the
electorate about electoral reform," said Jen Hassum, Chairperson of the
Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Through the website, students and
the general public can access research and campaign tools to help actively
promote the campaign to reform Ontario's electoral system."
    The Federation launched a new group, called "Students for Electoral
Reform," on the popular interactive social networking website Facebook. The
goal of the Facebook campaign is to help connect students and youth who are
interested in working together to promote electoral reform.
    "Many students find the current voting system to be unrepresentative and
disempowering and don't bother to turn out at the polls," said Hassum. "The
campaign website and the Facebook group are tools that complement the
orientation materials being distributed on campuses to simplify the issue and
empower students to change the system."
    The Federation points to lagging youth voter turn-out and the growing
cynicism associated with strategic voting as issues that would be remedied by
an MMP electoral system. Concern about these issues is what led students from
across the province, through the Canadian Federation of Students, to research
the voting system and endorse the recommendations of the Citizens' Assembly on
Electoral Reform.
    The overwhelming student support for changing the voting system to MMP is
based on the positive results in other jurisdictions, including greater voter
choice, fairer election results, and stronger elected representation for
traditionally under-represented groups.
    "For far too long, our votes on Election Day have not been properly
reflected in the number of seats assigned to each party by the current,
outdated system," said Hassum. "October 10 may be the last chance in a long
time for Ontarians to fix a broken electoral system. It's time to change the
system."

    /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, Organiser, (416) 925-3825 or (416) 707-0349
(cell)


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