The Broadbent Blog


First-of-its-Kind Voter Turnout Campaign Engages Local Food Establishment

Feed Democracy launched to increase voter turnout in municipal elections

VANCOUVER—The Broadbent Institute, supported by Vancity and in partnership with FarmFolk CityFolk and other community-based organizations, today launched a campaign to encourage voter turnout in the municipal election throughout Metro Vancouver. 

The non-partisan initiative, based on the idea that civic engagement thrives where people gather, invites businesses to get involved in their community in a new way. By participating in Feed Democracy, these food establishments are encouraging and promoting voting to their customers in the upcoming the municipal elections, to be held on November 15. 

"The Broadbent Institute is committed to democratic renewal at all levels of government across the country, and we are very happy to see so many community partners and local businesses share in this commitment to increase voter turnout across Metro Vancouver," said Mira Oreck, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Broadbent Institute.

Participating businesses include Fable, Choices Markets, Wild Rice, Earnest Ice Cream, Chambar and Central City Brewing + Distilling, among many others. 

"Feed Democracy is about our role as business owners in encouraging our customers to exercise their democratic right to vote,” said Erica Bernardi who, along with Benjamin Ernst, was looking for a way to raise awareness about voting amongst their customers at Earnest Ice Cream. “What better place to talk politics than over a scoop of ice-cream," said Ernst. 

Added Nicholas Scapillati, Executive Director of FarmFolk CityFolk: "As an organization with deep ties in the food and agriculture sector, we recognize the power of food and drink to bring people together. Feed Democracy takes that natural community connection a step further by inviting businesses, friends and neighbours to get more involved in elections," said Scapillati.

Voter turnout in the 2011 municipal elections throughout Metro Vancouver hovered around or below 30 per cent, compared with a 60 per cent turnout in the recent Toronto municipal elections. Yet some of the most important public policy decisions are made at the local level, including public education, policing and public safety, and transportation. 

Feed Democracy has the support of a broad range of community-based partners, including Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee, the River Market at Westminster Quay, and the Downtown New Westminster BIA. 

For a full list of participating community partners and restaurants to date, visit http://www.feeddemocracy.ca.

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The Broadbent Institute is an independent, non-partisan organization that promotes democracy, equality, and sustainability across Canada. 

For more information, please contact:

Christine Robertson, Coordinator, Feed Democracy
604-833-9784 or engage [at] feeddemocracy [dot] ca