IS BUCK WATTS A 'FRIEND OF DEMOCRACY' ?
Let us know in the comments if you get a positive - or negative - response!
Hon. Francis (Buck) Watts
As Speaker of the House, Buck Watts does not vote (except in the case of a tie-break)
PLEBISCITE VOTE: DISTRICT RESULTS IN TRACADIE - HILLSBOROUGH PARK
Mixed-Member Proportional - 56%
First Past the Post - 39%
Buck Watts is the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. This means that he usually does not vote on motions - only in the event of a tie-breaking vote being necessary.
If the rest of the legislature was split down the middle, and Buck had the deciding vote, would he vote in favour of the Status Quo (which is conventional for a speaker), or would he vote in favour of democracy itself, by siding with the clear majority of voters in his district, and voting to uphold the plebiscite results, and introduce Mixed-Member Proportional Representation in time for the next provincial election?
Let him know who you are & where you live!
If you voted for him in the last provincial election, tell him!
Tell him that - if he is called upon to break a tie - you expect him to Honour The Vote, represent the clear will of the voters in District 18 and across the province, and support legislation to move forward with Mixed Member Proportional Representation in time for the next Provincial Election.
If he does or does-not Honour the Vote, can he count on your vote in the next election?
Tell your personal story about the plebiscite - if you voted, why you voted, what your family thinks about Honouring The Vote.
Thank him for his time.
- This is a chance for the government to leave a legacy: the whole country is watching.
We can decrease cynicism in politics, by showing islanders that democracy is still worth participating in, and that votes still matter.
Many islanders chose not to vote because they knew the plebiscite was non-binding, and suspected that their votes might be ignored anyway, not making any difference. That cynicism about politics is what Wade MacLauchlan promised to break in the 2015 election campaign. We know that the Liberal party respects democratic processes, and if they want to strengthen faith in politics, they will listen to the voice of the people, to show that votes really do matter.
- What message is being sent to our young people about the value of casting a ballot? The Committee & Legislature gave 16 & 17 year olds the right to vote for the first time in this plebiscite. If their votes are ignored, and will mean so very little? How upsetting for those young people to experience this as their first connection with democracy and civic engagement.
- In this province's democracy, who has the ultimate say? The people, or the premier?
- There is no mandate to continue with the current First-Past-the-Post system. Only 31% of Islanders chose First-Past-the-Post as their first choice on the ballot. That's 69% of voters expressing a desire for a change in the way we elect our MLAs!
- Proportional Representation is the clear choice of the voters. On every round of counting, more than 50% of voters favoured Proportional Representation as their first choice. In the end, 52.4% of votes went to Mixed Member Proportional Representation, compared with only 42.8% for First-Past-the-Post. That is a clear majority as well!
- In a democracy, the voices of those who vote is what counts. Every Islander had the opportunity to participate in this plebiscite, and the 36% turnout does not invalidate the results of this plebiscite any more than the results of any other election. Most municipal governments across Canada are elected with a similar or even lower voter turnout, but that does not invalidate those elections.