The Ontario MMP System

The more I think of it, the more I like the MMP system.

What is the MMP system? I won’t go into the details of the system as there are thousands of sites that could explain (just google MMP Ontario) more lucidly than I can. All I will say is that MMP allows you to have two votes. One for your local MPP and one for your choice of a party. E.g. I could vote for my local representative (say Bob Delaney) and vote for the Green party because I rather like their policies. If the Green party gets a total of 3% of the total popular vote, they can nominate one of their listed representatives (whom I have voted for) to the legislature. This means thatthat the 3% of the people who voted for the Green party with their “second”
vote will get some sort of representation.

Now that’s what I call democracy!! Each vote will be weighted to give it some sort of say in the legislature.

So far the proposal is to have 90 ridings (reduced from the present 107) in Ontario through the current system of First Past The Post system (i.e. the person who gets the most votes) and 39 representative seats as part of the MMP.

Now here is a list of contentions against MMP that I picked from the comments section at Globe And Mail and my replies to it :

–> The MMP system only allows the citizens to vote in 90 ridings, and political parties pick the remaining 39. You know the remaining 39 will be for buddies and good pals.

This argument is a common theme against MMP. Oooh…..political hacks will be appointed……someone’s best friend in corporate circles is going to come to power and that will be the END OF THE WORLD!!! Just one question, Mr. Doubter…..who nominated your current MPP? Did he suddenly cry out in the middle of the crowd “VOTE FOR ME” and you did? Hogwash. Your current MPP, and all the other MPPs in Ontario, are nominated by the party and I mean each and every one of them. It is only the independent candidates who are the genuine politicians who seek votes on their own merits. All the others are buddies, chums, relatives, friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend of someone in the political party which means 100% of the candidates you see on the ballot list were chosen by the party WITHOUT any oversight from anyone. If MMP comes into the picture, at least there will be more of an intense focus on the 39 representatives. And maybe, this will force the party to nominate genuine politicians instead of people with nothing better to do (Wajid Khan from Mississauga, anyone?)

–> MMP will create one big chaotic mess. MMP creates more special interest parties and because Canada is so regionalist, governments will come and go like rainwater.

I have no idea why some people have this fixation with a “majority” government. Never mind that the current federal government and the previous one have been minority governments and seem to be functioning quite well (even though I don’t like the policies of the current government at all). Never mind that minority governance keeps everyone in check. Yes, there are backroom dealings and guess what, they will never, ever go away. Those are part and parcel of democracy. There will always be backroom dealings. Would you not want someone from the “little” parties in those same dealings to keep a check on things for us? Moreover, with current polling data, liberals are only marginally ahead of conservatives in Ontario. So we are looking at
a minority governm nt. Does that mean we will have elections again in a month? No, there will be a lot of back dealing with NDP and the liberals will come to power. So how exactly is this different from your doomsday scenario? At least under MMP, the minority parties will have more leverage to make sure that the outcome is fair to all.

–> MMP is a socialist’s wet dream. can’t get power any other way. If a party such as the Greens, after all these years, can still only attract 5-10% of the vote, maybe they should rethink their policies, or go away.

And there you have it. This is exactly why MMP is needed. 5 – 10 % of the vote in Ontario translates to 200,000 to 400,000 people. That’s how many people want Greens to have a say in the legislature. Should we allow the will of 200,000 peoples be swept under the carpet? Maybe their policies seem so appealing to such a large number of people that they should at least be discussed in the legislature. I mean if I have to have another idiotic policy thrust on me by the liberals whom I never voted for and never will, why can’t I have the policies of the party of my choice have a say in the legislature?

–> MMP more democratic? More like more bureaucratic! Since the number of MMPs will be increased, we will have to pay more tax dollars to pay these additional salaries, not to mention all the staff that goes with these new members. I already pay enough tax, thank you very much!

Really? So we would have a problem paying 39 MPPs and their staff even though we were paying for 130 MPPs until 1996 before Mike Harris introduced the Fewer Politicians Act? BTW, I wonder how many people opposed that act? I am sure it must be a huge number and yet precisely because of the current system it was implemented without a referendum or public debate.

–> The 2nd (argument against MMP) is somewhat more troubling in that the system may see the rise of an infinite number “minority” parties, be they based on political line “communist”, environmental “green” ethnic – Sikh, or religious. Israel today is plagued with that very problem

Yeah? And what exactly is wrong with that. If I form a party that believes in the spaghetti monster as the divine being and attract more than 3% of the population, why should that be termed as a problem? It just means that there are people out there who see other parties as detrimental to their ideas and want to back up a party that agrees with them. That’s called democracy.

And here is another reason why MMP is a good idea. This is a comment left by “Canadian Patriot” at the Globe and Mail comment section

1. Hey bub, I’m happy to have my minority government working to kick the liberals out for good – rather than paying for the Liberals monkey fuck us and rob us blind.

However, I think the referendum will fail. The main reason is education. The public at large had no idea that this referendum was coming. There has been no discussions or debates about it until 3 weeks ago. If the pubic was not informed about the referendum, the powers that be must have kept it quiet long enough to make sure that it never gathers traction. I was never going
to vote for Bob Delaney (my representative at Mississauga Streetsville) and since I found out that he totally opposes MMP, there is no way I am going to vote for him. And I can guarantee you that he will win by 35 – 45% majority……in other words 55 to 65% of the Mississauga-Streetsville population opposes him but will have to endure his policies for the next 4 years.

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