Electoral Reform in Ontario

If you live in Ontario, make sure you visit the Ontario Citizen's Assembly on Electoral Reform website. It contains important information on the proposed Mixed Member Proportional Representation System. At the next election, that is October 10, 2007, there will be a referendum on the subject. In order to pass, it must win at least 60% of voter support across the province, and it must be approved by a majority of voters in at least 60% of electoral districts.
As far as I am concerned the province, not to mention the entire country, is long overdue for this sort of system. If you feel as I do that our voting system needs to be fixed, visit the site and learn more. Vote YES on October 10!


Lemon said...

Ruth - you know were almost always on the same page, but not this time.
I loked at the site to see if there was any political bias in its makeup.
Not really - there were the usual union organizers and teachers. Very few types that would be stereotype Tories. But no big scandal there.
The only bias I see is human. These people worked on this for months - it's unlikely that they would go to this effort and recommend the status quo.
I agree that fine tuning is needed, but the formula suggested is no improvement - only allows for a little rump of party appointed members who will no doubt align to their parties. Only exception will be a couple of greens and maybe a marxist leninist who will only make noise and every generation or so hold a balance of power.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'm somewhat skeptical, and here's why (courtesy of the Star's Ian Urquhart):

"...perpetual minority legislatures, fringe parties with single-issue agendas, more politicians (almost one-third of them with no constituencies), larger ridings, more backroom wheeling-and-dealing, and political gridlock."

I only see more tax-payer money spent supporting more bobble-head MPPs.

Ruth said...

I think minority governments aren't that bad. They aren't perfect, but they go a long way to removing that sense of entitlement which has embedded itself in our political system. where one might choose to see wheeling and dealing, I see enforced co-operation.
This plan should also allow voters to vote more strategically. Since minorities are more likely, we can plan what sort of minority will give us the best possible government. If you want a Conservative to represent you, but also feel that the new Family Action Coalition party should have something to say, then you can pick both.

Dennis said...

Sorry, Ruth, but I'm just not with you on this one. Look at the bright side, though; you have managed to get me to do something that no one else has ever managed to get me to do... a rerun. :D

George said...

Be careful what you wish for. This system will entrench the party hacks in such a way that they can never be voted out. Those appointed by the party are not accountable to a constituency and they tend to be the same old crowd. Yes, we need change but surely there is a better way than this.

Anonymous said...

Don't believe everything you read in the papers. Ian Urquhart thinks Canada will turn into Israel if we have proportional representation. Why wouldn't we turn into Switzerland or Sweden instead?

The list members are elected by the party votes of the 60% of us who vote for people who don't get elected in the ridings. They are accountable t those voters.

The only reason for somebody to be on a party list is to attract votes to the party. Loading your list with party hacks is not a very effective strategy. In fact, as we see in places like New Zealand, Germany, Scotland and Wales, party lists are a very effective mechanism for electing more women, more people from minority groups of all sorts, and for making sure that every party has representation from every part of the province.

The purpose of this reform is to finally make political parties accountable to voters by making every vote count.

The Citizens' Assembly's final report came out on May 15. Read it. Then you'll know what you're talking about.


Wayne Smith

Law School Blog said...

One thing that MMPR does not address is vote dilution, which results in unbalanced parity for urban populations.

More importantly, it severely hinders the proportional representation of minority groups that are often centered in urban areas.

See: http://lawiscool.com/2007/07/29/vote-dilution-means-minorities-have-less-voice/

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