We need to reform our election system at the local and provincial level. All of the people I talk to about the elections at the AGM this year are interested and they want to know when they vote. I then tell them they can’t because they are not one of the delegates. Why can’t they? We manage to figure out how to get a near 100% turn out for a contract or memorandum vote. We managed to pull off a province-wide vote for the last one independent of the districts! We are trusted with making that most important decision of all. Why not for elections?
The election system in place and both levels excludes the majority of us, the people of OSSTF. 96 out of over 1200 will be voting on Wednesday, May 22. Approximately 500 of over 60,000 voted at AMPA this year. How is that democratic? It reminds me of something out of the 19th century where only landed men could vote. The system in place creates caretakers who are invested in the system rather than OSSTF. It creates politicians and administrators rather than leaders. It creates a safety net for those who are already in the administration by allowing them to run down if they lose. There is no danger. There is no threat. There is no impetus to listen. There is no impetus to change.
I’ve heard the argument why: at AMPA you get the best, political minds in the Federation making the best decisions for us. I’m pretty sure I know what’s best for me and, being a teacher, I have the education. But because my family was visiting during AMPA I could not go so I didn’t get to exercise the most basic, democratic right . . . The Vote! And who says these are the ‘best, political minds’? Oh, it’s the people who go . . . how convenient. Just because you cannot take four to five days out of your life plus time for the prep meetings doesn’t mean you should be excluded from voting for your leadership. Some how the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario can make it work. Why can’t we?
Brothers and sisters, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capacity to make the world’s first 21st century Federation.
I can, and am expected to, vote in Federal, Provincial and Municipal elections. I’m not in my Federation. Time to change. This is not THE Federation that we work for. This is OUR Federation that works for us.