Vote No to MMP! 
There's an interesting referendum being slipped onto our provincial election ballots on October 10th and I'm sincerely begging the population to reject it.

The issue at hand affects the very roots of our political system here in Ontario. We're being asked whether we'd like to continue with the current system, which is admittedly far from perfect, or to choose a new alternative called the Mixed-Member Proportional system, or MMP.

I've seen some deceptive propaganda on TV lately trying to convince people to vote for it, and while I don't know who's behind the ads, you can be sure that they'll stand to benefit personally in some way from the new system and that you, as a voter, will not.

The compelling argument seems to be that this new system will allow you to vote for the person you deem "best for the job" regardless of what political party they belong to. This is absolutely not the case and I will explain why.

Firstly, if the person that you think would best represent you in government is representing a party that you believe should not hold power, then they are clearly not the best person for you. This should go without saying. If you don't want the lying, stealing Liberals in power, then don't vote Liberal.

With that in mind, this argument must imply that voting for someone other than one of the parties you don't like might hold some benefit for you. This is also not the case. The only time there could be a benefit to voting for someone other than the representative of the party you want in power under the new system would be if that person were running as an independant.

Lo and behold though, this is also exactly the case with our current system. If the best person for the job is an independant candidate, then everyone benefits from voting for them, and should do so. They will get elected and best represent the interests of your constituency. Nothing changes in this respect.

On the flip side, however, what the MMP system is going to do is effectively eliminate the protest vote. If you choose to exercise your rights as a citizen and vote, but do not want to vote for a major party and don't have an independant candidate worth voting for, you will no longer be able to vote for some fringe party as a way to get their numbers in the results and show disdain for the leading candidates.

Why not?

In the new system, if you do so then members of that party might actually get seats in parliament, and not even necessarily the member that you voted for!

For example, in the last Ontario election, I voted for the Green Party because both the Ontario Liberals and the Ontario Progressive Conservative party were proving to be idiots. Of course, I didn't actually want any of those crackpot tree-huggers to get a seat in parliament, but I wanted my vote counted for something other than the Liberals or PC's.

Under the new system, my vote would be counted as endorsing the Green Party and with enough of them, they'd get people in parliament even though not a single member got elected. They'd just get to pick whoever they'd like and put that person in a seat of power.

Is that what we want happening?

The propaganda on TV is hinting at the idea of directly electing someone you favour, regardless of party, implying that we might have something similar to the United States where they independantly elect their state governers. This couldn't be further from the truth. Anyone that gets into government as a result of this new system would have no real power as they'd be a minority among minority parties. They'd simply be taking up space and collecting taxpayer money for no benefit to the public. We'd have 22 more politicians to pay out of our pockets, along with their staff of political gold-diggers, with nothing to show for it except one less option when voting.

How is this good for the people of Ontario? It's not. But it's certainly good for the wannabe politicians who are going to land high-paying jobs and cushy benefits because of it.

Please don't let this happen. Join me on October 10th and vote no to MMP. Some electoral reform might be good for us, but not with this proposal.

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Ontario Liberal Party: Just Say No! 
There's an interesting article in the Star today talking about the Ontario Liberal Party cheating the election system by having what are essentially fake lobby groups do advertising on their behalf.

I think the real story however is in the money that's changing hands in the process.

I read most of the article to mean "These guys gave thousands to the Liberal Party, who turned around and gave millions back to them from the taxpayers pockets".

That's huge bundles of our money being used to reward people for giving much less money to the Liberal Party. At the end of the day, the Liberal Party is giving millions of dollars to their friends and keeping a good chunk of it for themselves. Here's just a small example:

Coalition chair Gary O'Neill, who is on vacation and couldn't be reached, is also president of International Union Of Operating Engineers Local 793, which held a Liberal fundraiser at the union hall attended by McGuinty on June 22, 2006. Local 793 has donated $66,389 to the Liberals between 2003 and 2006. Two months ago, the government gave Local 793 a $1.98 million grant for its training centre.

It sounds like misappropriation to me. I can't help but be reminded of all the stealing Jean Cretien and Paul Martin were doing just recently. Like father like son? I guess it's "like federal, like provincial".

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Poor Mayor Miller 
Mayor Miller seems to be all butt-hurt over the fact that city council turned down his proposals on how to gouge the residents of Toronto for more money.

Now he has to cut costs, and one such cost being cut is a 1.2 million dollar renovation to his own office.

How the hell can an office renovation cost 1.2 million dollars?? Does he not live in the same world that the rest of us do? Does he not realize that most of the people in the city he is governing can't even dream about some day owning a home that might cost anywhere near what he felt justified in spending to renovate his office?

This guy is a joke. The fact that he approved this project in the first place while crying about how broke our city is shows plainly where his priorities lie.

I'm sure the city has more than enough money from the taxes we're paying now. If it weren't for the politicians spreading it around amongst themselves and their friends, we wouldn't have to hear about how tight the purse strings are.

I wonder if now is still a good time to get into the plastic bin making business. Of course, I'd need friends in the right places to make that profitable...

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Quit Giving My Money Away, McGimpy! 
Dalton McGuinty has just announced that he will give $650 million to the auto industry to promote the development of greener cars.

By my calculation, assuming everyone was contributing equally (which they sure as hell are not), $50 of that is mine and I bloody well want it back!

The car companies are spending their own resources to develop green technology because it's what's going to generate more business for them and make them more money. I don't need the government handing them my money to try and drag them out of debt and help them be profitable.

I'd much rather have that $50 to buy another tank of gas!

It's interesting to note that when he was last elected, he ripped me off for hundreds of dollars because we apparently can't afford our overly generous health care system. Now he's giving money away to giant car corporations?

I've said it before and I'll say it again, anyone who votes for McGuinty's Ontario Liberals this time around has got to be just plain stupid. They've proven themselves to be just as trustworthy as the Federal Liberal party, and are only doing their part to help themselves to our money, while liberating us of whatever little bit of it we're currently allowed to keep and spend.

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Now we pay bottle tax? 
I'm forced to question the motivation behind the new return system for bottles to the LCBO.

What is the value in this? Why do they want you to bring them the bottles rather than just leaving them at the curb in the recycle bin with the rest of your glassware?

With Brewers Retail (The Beer Store), it is understandable. They want the bottles back because they are an integral part of the network that allows beer bottles to be efficiently reused in Ontario. By taking them back in an unbroken state, nicely organized, they are reducing the cost of recycling them and helping keep the cost of beer down for those who use them. I commend that.

The LCBO is different though. They have no such network. They are not part of any recycling system that will benefit from the bottles going through them. So far as I can tell, there is no good reason for them to accept returns other than to collect the deposits as a tax and profit on any bottles that get recycled through more convenient methods.

The Ontario Liberals can pretend they're being environmentally conscious with this nonsense, but the fact is that we already have perfectly good ways of recycling bottles and this isn't helping things. I don't think that people who can't be bothered to put the bottles in the recycle bin instead of the trash will be driven by the prospect of a shiny new dime to pack them over to the LCBO and return them.

In the end, it's just their way of stealing a little more from us.

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