Hey there, please join the conversation on where Pair Vote goes next by adding a comment at the bottom of this post.

Fellow vote reformers, I’ve been avoiding writing this post for far too long. It’s been 5 months since the federal election, where over 8000 people committed to work together and share the power we have as voters. Sadly, our voting intentions were once again denied. You can read the final report on vote swapping in the 2011 federal election here .

What we learned about vote swapping after two federal elections is this – vote swapping has the potential to become a powerful force for change. What we need is to scale participation , so that vote swapping becomes a deciding factor in the kind of government we elect . What we need to do is to go from 8000 to 100,000 vote swappers . That means it’s time to get serious and go beyond a small group of volunteers, and to build and promote a system that puts more power in the hands of voters , a system that political parties and concerned citizen groups embrace for real change.

Governments will then be faced with a choice : yield to vote swapping and its effect on results, or give in and deliver real voting reform. Until we have reform, Pair Vote is here to stay.

Right now, several provinces are holding their elections , with more to be held in 2012. Now is a great time to get some attention to voting reform, and most importantly sign up more people for vote swapping, in time for the next federal election. Ideally we’d be having this conversation months ago, and I regret delaying for so long. I should have given the Pair Vote community the opportunity to take the lead, where I have not been able to. There is still time to make some noise!

At the same time, we need to build the next generation vote swapping system that puts more power and choice in the hands of voters.

Let’s talk! Add your comments below. Register for the newsletter in the side bar to be part of the ongoing conversation. We’ll likely create some sort of collaborative workspace in the near future.

Yours for a strong democracy,

– Gerry Kirk, founder of Pair Vote