Vote campaign reports - February 1, 1999

February 1, 1999

Citizen's Declarations are pouring in - thanks for sending and sharing them!  Note that the Halifax Intiative site (www.  now has an automatic email sendback for those wishing to sign the Citizen's Declaration on line.

I have included text of two letters recently sent to MPs in this mailout and urge you to use them (if you wish) in your letterwriting to your MP.

The Canadian Labour Congress has just posted its "Put the Brakes on Currency Speculation" campaign on its homepage and from it you can fax your MP directly. Visit the Canadian Labour Congress site and click the FAX YOUR MP icon. Select the "Put the Brakes on Currency Speculation" campaign, type in your name and postal code, and a draft letter(which you can edit) to your MP will appear on your screen. Edit and send!

You can also send a letter from the Internet activist 'FAX THE FEDS' site at .

Good luck with your letterwriting. Please let us know whether your MP will support the motion.

Robin Round
Regional Coordinator
Halifax Initiative

Hour 2 of the debate on Motion M-239 will be held on Wednesday, Feb 3rd at 5:30pm. I urge all those in Ottawa that can, to 'head for the Hill' and hear what the MPs have to say about the Tobin tax. For the rest of us, keep an eye on CPAC, the Parliamentary Channel, on your cable network.

In February, 1999, the House of Commons will be debating a private member's motion, M-239: "That, in the opinion of the House, the government should show leadership and enact a tax on financial transactions in concert with the international community."
Such a tax, variously known as an FTT (financial transaction tax) or a Tobin tax (after the Nobel economist, James Tobin, who first proposed it) is intended to act as a "speed bump" on the rapid withdrawal of speculative capital in currencies, stocks and bonds.  In 1975, about 80% of foreign exchange transactions were tied to trade and investments in goods and services; the rest was speculative.  By 1997, speculation rose to account for between 95% and 98% of all such transactions.  The extent of this unregulated speculation severely constrains national governments' abilities to set their internal social and economic policies.  In the words of a former hedge fund manager: "currency traders are effectively ‘policing' governments by selling off a nation's currency when they are dissatisfied with that government's policies" (quoted in Resurgence Magazine, 87/88).  Among these policies are those that help to mitigate market-driven income.