Rocco Rossi Campaign for Mayor

Rocco Rossi Campaign for Mayor

September 02, 2010 11:40 ET

Taking Back City Hall Part II-Rossi Returns to 3 R's of Voter Reform (Respect, Results, Recall)

Following Up on Monday's Recall Pledge, and Taking Up McGuinty's Challenge to Increase Turnout, Rossi Commits to Introducing Term Limits and Phone and Internet Voting in His First Term

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 2, 2010) - Toronto mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi announced today a package of measures to improve voter turnout and reform the electoral process. With a giant Sharpie in hand, Rossi signed his name on a pledge to Torontonians that he would deliver term limits at City Hall, and introduce internet and telephone voting options to improve voter turnout, all backed by his pledge earlier this week to give voters the power to recall politicians who fail to deliver on the job.

The measures would increase voter turnout by making voting more accessible and shifting the balance of power at City Hall into the hands of the voters.

"I will deliver again, not only in getting rid of the broken political culture at City Hall but also in implementing measures such as internet and phone voting, to help restore confidence and get citizens more involved," Rossi said at Queen's Park.

Rossi called on Premier Dalton McGuinty to make measures such as recall part of the agenda at the provincial legislature. Earlier in the week, the Premier responded to Rossi's call for voter recall legislation by saying the issue is to get more people voting, and recall is not on the agenda.

"Well Premier McGuinty, recall is on my agenda", Rossi exclaimed in front of a crowd of citizens, media and supporters. "And according to a poll released yesterday, it's part of the agenda for 73 percent of Torontonians."

The latest polling shows that almost three quarters of voters would like to have the power to recall their vote if their elected municipal officials fail to deliver on promises and under perform for the people. Recall legislation, which has been introduced in 40 jurisdictions in North America including British Columbia and California. Rossi has said that voter recall would increase voter turnout and address the frustration and anger Torontonians have with City Hall.

In addition to bringing recall to Toronto, Rossi also pledged to implement term limits to replace career politicians with fresh ideas and visions, and online and telephone voting to make it easier for voters and encourage new voters to join the political process.

As a career businessman, Rossi has never held office and is against the culture of turning a time of service into a job for life: "I truly believe that holding political office is a time of service rather than a career. It is one of the highest callings available to citizens in a democracy -- but it is not a retirement plan."

Under Rossi's proposal, term limits would allow a mayor to hold his or her office for a maximum of eight years, and councillors to hold office for a maximum of twelve consecutive years. At that time, politicians would need to step down and make room for new perspectives and fresh approaches. Politicians would be able to run for council again in the future if they choose, but could not exceed the limits imposed for maximum consecutive years in office.

As mayor, Rossi will introduce internet and telephone voting to make it easier for voters to cast their vote on election day and take back the political process at City Hall. Other jurisdictions including Markham, Peterborough, and Halifax have already implemented e-voting options, and they are continually being researched and implemented across the world.

The advantage of moving the voting process online is clear. The convenience of being able to register and vote from your home or office removes the need for voters to take time to line up and travel to a station to cast a ballot. Rossi noted that Torontonians are among the most computer literate people in the world, and that their is a strong need to bring the way we vote into the 21st century.

In Halifax, advance polls offering internet and phone voting increased by 50 percent, and in Markham the increase was around 300 percent for advance polling in 2003 when internet and telephone options were first introduced. While gains for overall increase in voter turnout in these jurisdictions have been marginal, some clear increases -- including more youth and new voters choosing to vote online -- show that electronic options make it easier for many to join the political process.

Rossi said intelligent initiatives such as the recall of failing politicians, term limits to replace cozy career politicians, and internet and telephone voting options will help Torontonians take back the city and make it a better place to live and work.

Delivering results has been a defining characteristic in Rossi's success as an executive at both major businesses and in charitable fundraising. "I will deliver again," Rossi told the crowd at Queen's Park, "not only in getting rid of the broken political culture at City Hall, but also in implementing measures to help restore confidence and get citizens more involved."

To see the entire speech, please visit the following links: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/SPEECH.pdf and http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Q_and_A1.pdf.

Contact Information