Saturday, September 29, 2007

Referendum Ontario -- Your Big Decision

Ontarians! You're facing a big, huge, ginormous decision on Election Day, Wednesday, October 10!!! And no, I'm not talking about which party to vote in or out.

Here's a tidbit for you: did you know 96 percent of you vote for the party, not for the individual candidate? You may say you're voting for the candidate, but if your preferred choice belongs to the "wrong" party, then you'll choose the candidate that's with the "right" party.

That's why you have a big decision to make. Do you want to keep the current system of voting in our parties, or do you want to switch to a system that ensures your party is accurately represented in the Legislature?

New Zealanders decided several years ago that they wanted more accurate representation in their Parliament and went with the same electoral system that we're voting on now: MMP. When they voted in a party that broke their promises and did all sorts of things that pissed them off, they were able to shrink the party's seats at the next election because their new Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) electoral system allowed them to do so. If they had stuck with the first-past-the-post system, then that party would still be pissing them off. Now, with MMP, the party has to change its ways if it wants more seats again, and that means listening to the voters. When was the last time a government in power here in Ontario did that?

So check out Referendum Ontario: As they say, "We are glad you are here to learn about your choices in Ontario’s first-ever referendum on electoral reform. It’s a big decision. We want you to be clear about your choices so you can make an informed decision about Ontario’s future." It's just too bad they've done a crap job so far of informing you. New Zealanders, every one of them, were fully informed by voting day, and that's why they voted in MMP. And they've had stable, responsible, and responsive governments since. I've not heard of an Italian- or Israel-style government popping up there, have you? Or in Scotland or in Germany, other countries that also use MMP. So vote yes for MMP, and finally a non-Liberal Torontonian and a rural voter will have their votes count!

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