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Proportional What!? Your Guide to the BC Electoral Reform Referendum section image

Proportional What!? Your Guide to the BC Electoral Reform Referendum

November 27, 2018

Our pals Malloreigh Hamilton and Kala Vilches led a workshop at the studio taking everyone through the ins and outs of the BC Electoral Reform Referendum. With the Canada Post strike currently going on, the deadline has now been extended to December 7th at 4:30pm for all ballots to be received. If you still haven’t…

Our pals Malloreigh Hamilton and Kala Vilches led a workshop at the studio taking everyone through the ins and outs of the BC Electoral Reform Referendum. With the Canada Post strike currently going on, the deadline has now been extended to December 7th at 4:30pm for all ballots to be received.

If you still haven’t submitted yours, here’s Malloreigh’s breakdown on our current system and the options you’re choosing between:

ISSUES WITH OUR CURRENT SYSTEM

Our existing electoral system is called “First Past the Post”. Basically, the candidate that gets the most votes in any particular riding wins that riding, even if only a small amount of the electorate in that riding voted for that candidate (as can happen in ridings with many candidates). Then, the Legislative Assembly is governed by the party who won the most seats, regardless of their share of the popular vote. So a party can end up with a majority government – meaning they can basically make decisions unchecked by opposition – with less than 50% of the popular vote.

This is how vote-splitting happens and why it’s such a problem. We dealt with vote-splitting pretty seriously in the municipal election that just happened; with two strong candidates on the left (Stewart and Sylvester), progressives were torn about whether to vote strategically to ensure a left-wing candidate got in. In the end, due to a massive marketing and support campaign by the NDP and labour union groups, left-wing candidate Kennedy Stewart defeated right-wing candidate Ken Sim by 1,000 votes.

This is an issue we currently deal with at all levels in Canada as FPTP is the system of choice across the country. You’ve probably heard a lot of vitriol about whether strategic voting is a good or bad choice from both supporters and deriders of the practice.

WHY PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION?

Proportional Representation systems attempt to reflect better in government the percentage of the electorate that supports a particular party. For example, typically the Green Party of Canada gets 4-7% of the popular vote, but they have only won one seat in the House of Commons in the last two elections (and zero prior to that) – less than 0.3% of the House. The Green Party of BC won 3 seats in the 2017 general election (almost 4% of the seats in the Legislative Assembly), but received almost 17% of the popular vote. This is a huge disparity between how the public votes and how the government is made up.

Some democratic political philosophy suggests that government should be a reflection of the body it governs – whether this reflects just the views of the electorate or whether it reflects identity groups, like, for example, seeing 51% of our elected representatives identifying as female to reflect the proportion of the population at large, or seeing POC in our government to similarly represent the portion of the population that are POC.

In Australia (where voting is mandatory!), their House is elected riding-by-riding like ours, but their Senate is elected via proportional representation based on the percentage of total votes cast by the electorate for each party.

WHY NOT PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION?

Opponents of PR will tell you that proportional representation can increase the presence of fringe parties in government. This is absolutely possible. It may be a tiny percentage of the population in each riding voting for fringe parties – be they right wing, left wing, or spaceship wing – but depending on the system, if the total sum of those votes is substantial enough, those fringe parties could in fact get a seat in the Leg. Some people think that’s fine; I personally do not want that. Most of the systems outlined below have a 5% threshold for representation.

Opponents of PR also consider the potential systems to be too confusing. Their argument is that FPTP has worked for our democracy up until now; it’s not broken, so why fix it?

As well, coalitions are more likely to be needed for government to be formed. Right now BC is being governed by a coalition government made up of NDP and Green MLAs. These systems can work really well if the parties making up the coalition can work together well, but it can also result in unstable government that is dissolved more often.

THE PROCESS OF THE REFERENDUM

Elections BC must receive your ballot by 4:30pm on December 7th, 2019. You can either:

  • Mail it
  • Return it in person at a Referendum Service Office or Service BC Centre. Find locations at elections.bc.ca/rso

There are two questions in the ballot.

1. Do you want to stay with existing FPTP or move to a Proportional Representation system?

2. Of the three PR options, rank your first, second, and third choice.

If more than 50% of the ballots returned prefer FPTP, nothing will change. If more than 50% prefer PR, the system with the highest ranking will be adopted. There will be some administrative work to do to put it in place, but it will have to be ready for any provincial elections taking place after July 1, 2021. Riding boundaries will likely change; we may have up to 8 additional MLAs added to our Legislature. There may be more than one MLA representing a particular district. Finally, after two elections using PR, another referendum will be calling to see if BC voters want to go back to FPTP – so if we hate it, it isn’t necessarily permanent.

SO WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?

Dual-Member Proportional (DMP)

This system was developed in Canada and is not in use – it is at the moment purely theoretical.

This is an interesting system. Large population ridings will have two MLAs, while low population (rural) ridings will continue to have one. Parties will be able to list up to two candidates on the ballot in ridings with two MLAs. You still only get one vote in your riding but you may be voting for a pair of candidates with that one vote (for example, if the NDP runs two candidates, you can vote for both at once). The first seat in each riding goes FPTP-style to the candidate with the most votes. The second seat in two-Member ridings will be assigned via proportional representation, so if the Greens get 17% of the popular vote, approximately 17% of the second seats will go to Greens. Those seats will be assigned in ridings where the Greens did particularly well, so the candidates that got the most votes will more-or-less be the ones who get seats.

  • What I like about this system
  • It’s not too big of a departure from our existing system from the voter’s perspective, so it’s less confusing for voters. Parties also need at least 5% of the vote to get any second seats, so it roots out fringe parties in most ridings.
  • What I don’t like about this system
  • I’m not sure it will cure the strategic voting issue we have. Because we’re still voting for one candidate or pair of candidates and there are still FPTP elements, I feel we will still need to carefully avoid vote splitting on the left.

Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP)

This system is already in use in other countries at national or sub-national levels, including Germany, New Zealand, and Scotland.

In this system, electoral districts are larger. Voters vote for a candidate to represent their riding, similarly to how we do now, using FPTP. You are also voting for a party (either through your candidate or through a separate vote – TBD) for regional candidates. So the Leg is made up of “district MLAs” – the people who represent your riding – and then a certain number of “regional MLAs” per party that top up the number of MLAs from that party to match the percentage of the popular vote given to that party. Do you follow?

Basically, you would either vote once or twice per election – once for an MLA and possibly once for a party (though your MLA vote may also be considered a party vote, which roots out independent candidates entirely). Some/most of the candidates would be elected the old fashioned way, but overall representation in the Legislature would be proportional because parties would be “topped up” to their vote percentage by candidates from their open regional list.

  • What I like about this system
  • It does seem like representation will be pretty accurately proportional. It is good that it’s been tested in countries with well-functioning democracies. There is a 5% threshold for representation to avoid fringe parties in government.
  • What I don’t like about this system
  • This might be more confusing for voters. We also don’t really have a say in who’s on the regional list for each party; we’re not voting for candidates, we’re voting for parties. This doesn’t work with the way everyone thinks of their right to be represented. There are also still quite a few questions marks about how this would work.

Rural-Urban Proportional (RUP)

This is a combo system not in use in this particular combination anywhere, though both aspects have been used successfully separately.

This is a combination of MMP (above) for Rural areas and STV (which we voted on in 2005 and 2009) for urban and semi-urban districts. In urban areas we would rank candidates on our ballot. So, I can vote for the NDP first, the Greens second, the Communist party third, and then not at all for the Liberals, or I can put them last on my ranking. This is more complex for Elections BC to count, but it does alleviate vote splitting.

There is a minimum number of votes in each riding, called the “quota”, that a candidate must reach. All candidates that reach this quota are elected. Candidates with the fewest votes are discarded and the votes go to the next candidate on that voter’s list. Candidates who get more votes than the quota have their extra votes transferred to the number two candidate on that voter’s list, and so on. Parties may run multiple candidates per riding, up to the number of seats available in that riding.

Rural districts would operate like MMP, with district MLAs elected to represent each riding and regional MLAs from a party list to top up.

  • What I like about this system
  • I love the idea of ranking candidates and the way it would alleviate vote splitting/strategic voting. This works well for voters who are often torn between two (or more!) candidates.
  • What I don’t like about this system
  • It would take a while to count and calculate results; there would need to be multiple rounds of counting because the system is so complex. I would not get my exciting election night sports watching experiences.
  • *EDIT: I spoke to an Irish friend who says that the counting actually goes pretty quickly and that election nights are very exciting indeed!

 

If you’re happy with the existing system, vote to keep it FPTP. If you’d like to give PR a try, what’s the harm?

2018 Holiday Challenge

November 26, 2018

We’re hosting our first challenge! From December 1st to the 31st we’re getting you to beat those winter blues, show some love for our trainers, and giving you some sweet discounts to reward your efforts. HOW IT WORKS There will be a big poster board up front where you’ll write your name down to take…

We’re hosting our first challenge! From December 1st to the 31st we’re getting you to beat those winter blues, show some love for our trainers, and giving you some sweet discounts to reward your efforts.

HOW IT WORKS

There will be a big poster board up front where you’ll write your name down to take part in the challenge. At each class you attend, request a sticker from the front desk to place by your name.

POINTS BREAKDOWN

REWARDS

40+ points = A chance to win a FREE month at Tight Club. Anyone that gets 40+ points are still eligible to get 30% off your first/next Tight Life Membership pass OR 15% off a 10 Class Pass

30+ points = 30% off your first/next Tight Life Membership month OR 15% off a 10 Class Pass

20-29 points = 20% off your first/next Tight Life Membership month OR 10% off a 10 Class Pass

10-19 points = 10% off your first/next Tight Life Membership month OR 5% off a 10 Class Pass

Not signed up for a Tight Life membership? Chat with your front desk pal to sign you up!

When we are closed for the holidays, you can still earn points by posting pictures of you doing something active outside! Stay tuned for more details.

Learning about Body Positivity with Diandra Oliver

November 1, 2018

Last week, Diandra Oliver took our crew through a Fat Positivity + Body Positivity workshop. Through the work she facilitated, we learned the difference between body positivity and fat activism, systemic discrimination against plus size and fat identified folx, and the ways we can value all bodies and the incredible things they do. We got…

Last week, Diandra Oliver took our crew through a Fat Positivity + Body Positivity workshop. Through the work she facilitated, we learned the difference between body positivity and fat activism, systemic discrimination against plus size and fat identified folx, and the ways we can value all bodies and the incredible things they do.

We got to know Diandra a little more and found out why this type of work is so important for the fitness community:

You’ve got a lot on the go! Tell us some more about yourself and the different initiatives you’re a part of:

I am a writer and activist from the ancestral territories of Kitselas and Kitsumkalum First Nations in Northwest, British Columbia. I grew up on mountains and in rivers, and moved to Vancouver in 2016. Since being in Vancouver I’ve jumped head first into the outdoors community, co-founding Vancouver’s first fat softball team, The Heavy Hitters and becoming the first Canadian ambassador for Fat Girls Hiking, supporting them to get their Vancouver Chapter up and running. This past summer I joined the Curvy Kili Crew, a group of awesome fat babes from all over North America who are hiking Mount Kilimanjaro for International Women’s Day 2019. The hike will be the first group fat hike of Kili and the Curvy Kili Crew has been featured all over the internet in social media stories, blog posts and podcasts. To get ready for the hike I’ve been training at Tight Club and at the beginning of October I completed a distance and elevation gain simulation of Kili which you can read more about on my blog here.

Outside of this hiking life, my partner and I parent our rad 8 year old kid. We basically run around the city eating noodles (his favourite is Mr. Red) and going to all of the swimming pools (faves are Eileen Daily in Burnaby and New Brighton pool in East Van). For work I’m a PhD student and instructor in the Geography department at Simon Fraser University. I study young people’s unemployment in Vancouver and how young people resist and advocate to have their economic realities acknowledged by the government and employers. Basically, if you were born after 1980 things are not good. Let’s fix it.

What inspired you to start this workshop?

I started working out at Tight Club with the Tight Life Challenge in January 2017. After spending decades experiencing fatphobia, homophobia and sexism in sports and fitness I had become weary about walking into anywhere new. But there was something about how Tight Club put the movement in front of the bullshit that inspired me and hooked me. Keighty, Jody, Kelsey and everyone at Tight Club was so welcoming those first three weeks and the Tight Life family was everything I needed to intentionally get my body moving again. I’ve always felt like my body was celebrated at Tight Club and it’s at Tight Club that I’ve learned to celebrate my body and what it can do.

This workshop came together because I want to support Tight Club to learn about gatekeeping in the industry (how the industry intentionally keeps fat people out by focusing on diet talk or by only having thin people in their advertising) and the systemic ways that fat folks are restricted from moving their bodies (eg. gear and clothing is not size appropriate, instructors often have traditional body types, and modifications are not always offered). I am excited to work with Tight Club to unpack the hierarchy of thinness and to develop a practice of inclusivity that supports and celebrates bodies of all sizes.

Why is it important?

Most fitness and sport spaces are alienating for fat folks. It’s really hard to go into a fitness space and not be bombarded with messages about weight loss. In our culture, gyms, fitness centres and “healthy living” are all so deeply connected to fatphobia and the diet industry (that profits off our own self-hatred). Fat Activism requires us to accept all bodies the way they are and to honour each person’s own reasons for moving their body however they want to or not. For example, I want to move my body to outlive my enemies and manage my anxiety, not to lose weight. Often when I’m working out regularly or on an elimination diet to deal with health stuff, family and friends are so excited that I’ve “lost weight” and do not hesitate in telling me that I look great and they’re so happy for me. I’ve begun to reply with a cheerful tone, “I haven’t lost any weight! I’m still fat but now I really love burpees!”. Committing to Fat Activism requires us to change the script away from happiness for weight loss to pride for gaining strength and living a tight life. The next step is taking that internal change and replicating it by advocating for all bodies in the systems around us.

What you hope others will take away from it?

I’m so proud of Tight Club and the work they’re doing to be an inclusive, safe space. It is exhausting to constantly be making space for yourself in a world that clearly doesn’t want you and it’s exciting when people in the industry stand up to do this hard work. I hope that as Tight Club deepens their practice of welcoming those folks who are typically marginalized by the fitness industry, folks will find it easier to walk into this space because it will be ready for them.


A huge thank you to Diandra for taking the time to teach us how we can make our space more accessible, inclusive, and how we can advocate for and support members with all types of bodies with empathy and solidarity. ALL BODIES are welcome here.

Sports Day Is Still The Best Day of the Year

October 1, 2018

It was no different this time around: Sports Day is THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR! The weather gods were not on our side to start the day, but y’all still came out to play and were slippin’, slidin’, and sippin’ on Hey Y’alls. And as the day continued, the sun made an appearance and…

It was no different this time around: Sports Day is THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR! The weather gods were not on our side to start the day, but y’all still came out to play and were slippin’, slidin’, and sippin’ on Hey Y’alls. And as the day continued, the sun made an appearance and before we knew it were basking in its warmth and everyone’s tight vibes.

Shout out to our amazing crew of volunteers who helped us pull this thing off!

And to these amazing peeps who made the day extra special:

Say Hey Cafe

Parkland

KIND Snacks

Hey Y’all

Cocos Pure

Swiss Water Coffee

Saucony

Scroll through to see some highlights from the day captured by our boy Grady Mitchell:

Outdoor Vices Summer 2018 Roundup!

September 30, 2018

Another summer has come and gone and with it a new batch of memories to last us a lifetime and damn, was it ever a good one. We hung out with familiar and new faces, laughed (A LOT), got sweaty (A LOT), saw you bust a move, and challenge yourselves in new ways. Endless love…

Another summer has come and gone and with it a new batch of memories to last us a lifetime and damn, was it ever a good one. We hung out with familiar and new faces, laughed (A LOT), got sweaty (A LOT), saw you bust a move, and challenge yourselves in new ways. Endless love to you all that make what we do every day sooooooo worth it. 

TIGHT BIKE

First up, let’s revisit the latest season of Tight Bike (including Rapha 100!) and hear from some of the crew on their favourite memories from this year:

I spent the whole Tight Bike season doing sloops. Every. Time. And I’m okay with it. I really wanted to be close to home because I’d been working so much. R&R was my main goal. But I also knew I needed to, and wanted to be on my bike, so a couple loops of Stanley Park after work was just what the Dr. ordered.

About three quarters of the way through the season, we made our way up to Prospect Point, as we did, and then…. we just…. stayed there. For like, quite a while. And it was great! It was a huge crew of us and we’d reach max-summer chillax – on a bike ride. We all knew each other but then we shot the shit and snapped photos. It took a push, but after a good span of time we all decided whether we’d do another loop or head home and off we went. A lovely eve.“ – CHANTELLE

My favourite rides are always the Sloops. It’s social and always a great ride with some fun competition up Prospect Point with a sweaty photo up top!

Any of the sloop photos are the best. Always sweaty and a solid group of peeps!” – ALFRED

Highlight of the season was meeting a bunch of like minded rad people who liking riding bikes! I joined to meet new people and make some friends.

Favourite ride was out to Iona beach, that was a really fun and fast ride and I really enjoyed it, plus I have never done that ride prior.“ – MATTHEW

Favourite ride: Social sloops that finished at Electric Bicycle Brewing; got some loops in and then drank beer with a good crew… what more could you ask for?” – KRISTY

RAPHA 100 

Photos by Jeff Kwok

 

TCRC

Our Tight Club Run Crew happens year round (every Tuesday at the Field House at 6:15 FYI), but running with pals while soaking in those summer rays is always a highlight. Back in July our friends at Outdoor Voices supplied our runners with “Doing Things” hats and we went out in the hood for a run and sweat session. Here are some of the highlights captured by Kezia Nathe:

MAKING MOVES SUMMER PARTY

You came, you danced, and you shot some hoops! Our Making Moves Summer Party brought out a tight crew to take part in our Free Throw Competition with Myodetox. Keep scrolling through to catch the highlights! Photos by Kezia Nathe:

And that’s a wrap for the summer of 2018!

Making Tight Moves!

June 19, 2018

We’re celebrating a summer of Making Moves! We’re stoked to launch this project: Making Moves. A product of passion and talent, of living the tight life and holding nothing back. A video to inspire movement; physical and otherwise. A creative expression of living the tight life, and making moves; whether that’s quitting your job and…

IWD2018: “What’s tight about identifying as a woman?”

March 15, 2018

It’s been a week since International Womens Day 2018, but honestly we’re always celebrating women. We dedicated a week long celebration to all the women who make our future tight and the women who make our future tight are all the inspiring, unique, strong and powerful women who walk through our doors on a daily…

It’s been a week since International Womens Day 2018, but honestly we’re always celebrating women. We dedicated a week long celebration to all the women who make our future tight and the women who make our future tight are all the inspiring, unique, strong and powerful women who walk through our doors on a daily basis. We see you and we appreciate you each and every day. That’s why we asked you to strike you’re power pose and tell us; “what’s tight about identifying as a woman?”

We’d also like to take a minute to say thanks to all of you who participated, donated, gave your time, energy and tight vibes. Here are just some of the highlights from what was one for the books last week …

 

  • Almost a 100 of you came out on Tuesday night for a super fun 5km social run in collaboration with Erin Irelands Heartbeets Run Club and as if that wasn’t awesome enough you all generously bought along menstrual products to donate to our pals at Period Posse; a non-profit organization who believes in menstrual equity, where access to menstrual products is a right.

 

 

  • The “Game Changers” class was full with the tightest of vibes to celebrate women in sports who paved the way fighting for equality and empowerment, all of you listened with warm hearts and sweated your butts off for a super fun and empowering night.

 

 

And now, “What’s tight about identifying as a woman?”

Emily

No matter what, there’s always an implied sisterhood between us if we look for it. There’s a silent support that surrounds us all.

 

Tracy

To me it’s how amazingly resilient our mind and body is to what can sometimes be such a tough world out there. As women, we just persist and take on whatever comes our way and that’s pretty tight.

 

Shanique

It’s sweet that as women we are able to give life.

 

Gil

Being soft and strong.

 

Kelsey

Having people underestimate me or my strength because I’m a woman and getting to show them WHAT’S UP!

 

Malloreigh

That we can embrace our femininity that men don’t always feel comfortable doing.

 

Heather

We get shit done.

 

Diana

That I get to be part of a band of badass woman.

 

Michelle & Sarah

Sarah: I’m one of twins and sisters are just on a whole other level.

Michelle: Being inspired and empowered by other women like Keighty 😉

 

Claire

Being able to support one another and be part of this amazing network of strong women.

 

Gail

We pretty much run the world now!

 

Sasha

Having the ability to prove people wrong, like watch us be CEO’s, scientists, athletes … whatever and whoever we want to be.

 

Caley

It’s tight to have so much opportunity, we’ve got so much ground to pave (metamorphic-ally).

 

Ali

F*cking everything! I can’t just pick one thing.

 

Keighty

My innate nature to provide safe spaces for the people in my life.

 

Jessica

What’s tight about being a woman is being a woman right now in 2018 because there is a huge change happening and it’s awesome to be part of it all.

 

Lindsay & Madeline

Easy: empowering other women.

 

Tight Club Check-in: Janet Nixon

March 13, 2018

Take a peek inside the Tight Club community, each week we’re checking in with one of our crew to learn what they get up to when they’re not slamming balls or crushing burpee challenges. These are the people that motivate you in class when sh!t gets real. From OG’s to newbies, here’s their inside scoop.…

Take a peek inside the Tight Club community, each week we’re checking in with one of our crew to learn what they get up to when they’re not slamming balls or crushing burpee challenges. These are the people that motivate you in class when sh!t gets real. From OG’s to newbies, here’s their inside scoop.

Meet Janet.

 

 

What would the title of your autobiography be?

Success on my own terms. Connection, Values and Joy.

Words/quote to live by?

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.

 

 

Something you really love about yourself (self-love is tiiiiight!)

My vulnerability. Although it’s painful sometimes, I feel like I live my life wholeheartedly and all that comes with that.

The sun has been out recently, how have you been enjoying it?

As soon as the sun is out, I have to go for a walk. My dog loves it more than I do, so it’s a mutual walk with springs in our step.

 

 

 

What makes Vancouver awesome for you?

Sometimes I think it’s the ocean, sometimes I think it’s the sheer beauty. Whenever I go somewhere else in the world that’s known to be great, I always think it’s better at home. We have it all (OK, maybe more sun in the winter would be good). I’ve only ever once thought somewhere was as beautiful as here, in Istanbul on a warm, sunny day looking down from the Golden Horn.

 

 

 

The tightest thing in your life rn.

I think after struggling for a few years to make my business really go, I’ve finally found something that really works, is growing exponentially and it’s easy. It’s hard to get into a mindset of Abundance but it’s such a worthwhile pursuit.

 

How did you find out about Tight Club?

Rachelle Bonneville was my trainer at a previous gym and she told me she was teaching classes there. She was so excited about the community and the people there that I just had to check it out.

 

 

Your fav move in class?

Any of the routines of a few movements that go with the music. Using the music is so important to me, the beat going with the exercises and the mood it creates.

 

Besides classes, we know you also do personal training sessions with Andrea. What do those look like?

I was so close to Rachelle and I really enjoyed her ‘ab’ focus. So I was really surprised that when I started training with Andrea, we went to a new level. Both in closeness and workouts. She uses heavier weights that I used to think would make me bulky, which has resulted in much more strength, overcame some injuries, and now I can go to many Tight Club classes as well, because I am now fit and strong enough. I train twice a week with Andrea and try to do 4 Tight Club classes a week.

 

A book you plan on reading?

Rising Strong by Brene Brown. I have read other books and watched her TED talks and I think she has great insights to live by.

 

 

 

Are you a dog or cat person?

I have both. Most days the dog gets more attention because she forces it, but my cat is equally affectionate and connected. They’re different but equally great.

 

 

Three people dead or alive you would like to have dinner with?

I have a whole Pinterest board on this so limiting it to three is hard. I’ll start with the Obamas, Amal Clooney, Adele, Christine Largarde, Lady Gaga, Christiane Amanpour, Benedict Cumberbatch, Welby Altidor … you see?

 

With the Winter Olympics having just wrapped up, what would be the event you wish you could master?

I don’t know if I care to master it, but watching Shaun White and the way he feels about snowboarding, it looks like he just does it for the fun. Period. That’s attractive to me.

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Having a very successful professional year and travelling every two months.

 

 

 

Interview by: @maxime.evans

All photos by: @valerielina