this blog entry has been updated
All voters are equal, but some voters are more equal than others. City councillors have decided not to revise the ward boundaries before the 2014 municipal election. This means that the most represented ward (ward 14) will have nearly four times the voting power as the least represented ward (ward 7).
This democratic deficit has been reported by Citizens at City Hall (CATCH), Hamilton Spectator(http://www.thespec.com/opinion/columns/article/702666--council-tosses-ward-review-forward-to-2014-and-beyond) and Occupy Hamilton, and is clearly visible in census data posted on RTH.
The City of Hamilton governance review sub-committee also reported on both the problem, and a potential solution.
Often, these articles point out that all that is needed to force Hamilton city council to take care of this problem is a petition with the names of 500 concerned Hamilton residents. If our councillors do not act after receipt of the petition, anyone who signed the petition can take the matter to the Ontario Municipal Board.
The process is explained here. This has happened before in London, Ontario, where the OMB's decision forced the city to revise its ward boundaries.
This is not a popular issue. Our councillors will continue to focus on running our city while ignoring the divisive issue of fair representation. What they need is for citizens to force their hand by delivering a petition that requires their action. They will defer and delay until the OMB decides for them.
Why wait any longer? Print out a copy of the petition form [PDF] and ask fifteen eligible Hamilton electors to sign it. Kindly send the completed petition to:
All Voters Are Equal
41 Uplands Avenue
You can also sign the petition at tonight's Art Crawl on James North. Look for Chris Cutler at the corner of James and Cannon.
Most of us know at least fifteen people who will be happy to sign. Many businesses would be happy to put the petition on their store counter for people to sign.
If 50 people get 15 signatures each, we will have enough to go to Council and begin the process. If we don't, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Update: Here is a list of locations where you can sign a petition:
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