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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ontario's Referendum

On October 10th, 2007, the Ontario provincial elections will take place.

I have (had) my favorite party, which I've switched up due to another topic I'll deal with in a bit. For the mean time, I'd like to talk about this referendum.

The referendum will be on the voting system of Ontario itself. Usually it's first past the post, meaning the party with the most seats based on their constituencies wins regardless of the popular vote. The referendum will add a second voting area, so you can vote for your local candidate and your party. This means you're voting for two seats in the legislature, one which goes to the winning local MPP and the other going to 39 mystery spots, to be awarded on a popular vote percentage by the various parties.

This new system will give the popular vote credence and power.

For example, municipality "A" could have 50,000 people, municipality "B" 100,000 people, and municipality "C" 1,000,000 people.

Municipality "A" votes in the "BLUE" candidate with 25,001 votes, "B" the "BLUE" candidate with 50,001 votes, and municipality "C" votes in the "RED" candidate with 900,001 votes. Even though the "RED" party got 824,999 MORE votes in total than the "BLUE" candidate, the blue candidate won more seats in legislature so gets to form a government.

There are some things I don't like about this new system being proposed.

  1. 39 seats in legislature that do not have to answer to a constituency
  2. an additional 12 million dollars of taxpayer money going to salary these new seats
  3. the fact that the GTA has the lion share of the people, does NOT represent the needs of the entire province, and has the ability to dominate the polls

Based on the above, I'm voting to keep the old system in place. I feel it gives better representation to the province as a whole come election day, and we do NOT need to pump any more money into the politicians themselves (ahhhummmm liberal scandal snnarchh sponsorship ahum!).

I don't think it really matters though, because the referendum needs 60% of the popular vote to implement the new system. Most people I know of haven't heard of this system, don't really care, and if this is news to them at the polls, they'll probably stick with the old system rather than voting for something they don't have any clues about.

Besides, if it does go through Parliament has until 2008 to erect a statute governing it and we all know how fast Queen's Park DOESN'T go!

I'm looking for some opinions and refutations to mine. Anyone game?

0 keen observations: