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.

0 thoughts on “Vote No to MMP!”

  1. The way I understtod it, what it implied for me is if my local MPP is of a particular political party, and I love what my local MPP is doing, but don;t necessarily endorse his/her party, then I could vote for my local person, and then vote seperately for the party I want to be in power provincially.

    That part, as I understood it, makes sense to me. Because my local MPP is looking out for the specific needs of my community and as such works in a whole different arena than the provincial polititans.

    So sometimes I feel different ways about different people.

  2. Ah yes… it appears I missed the bit about having two separate votes.

    At the end of the day though, it's still just going to give us more politicians bilking us for more money.

    What this gives us is the ability to give seats to fringe parties that would otherwise have no chance of getting elected.

    Good for them! Not so good for me.

  3. We're not all that worse off – 129 total members, which is more than we have now, but still less than the 130 we had not all that long ago.

    You said:
    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?

    Me:

    Yes. That is exactly what I want to happen. Because X% of the people votes for that party, I want that party to have X% of the seats. You can still have your protest vote, because the "crackpot tree-huggers" won't have any real party in parliament, but it serves as a MORE effective protest (in my opinion) for them to get 5% of the vote and 6 seats than 5% of the vote and 0 seats.

    I can also see it saving some money: in the situation where the majority party's leader does not win his or her seat, they get a free pass via the proportional seats. That means no other party member needs to step down and run a byelection to get the leader voted in a strong-hold riding.

    The members of parliament are responsible for so much more than just voting on bills. I'd much rather have a responsible, effective MPP that seems to listen, but is of a different party, than one who I know is ineffective or has the wrong priorities. I think this system gets me my cake, and lets me eat it too. Mmm… cake.

    My feeling is that this is a bit better than what we have now, but still not as good as we could have it. I would like to see the proportional seat party lists voted on by the public, rather than have the parties choose.

  4. "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."

    Just so I get this straight: you're upset about MMP because you don't want your spite-vote to count for anything other than spite?

  5. That's correct. I want to be able to send a message with my spite vote without fear of it having further negative consequences.

  6. Giving fringe parties false hope amuses me.

    As for saving on by-elections… I have a better solution for that.

    If your party has a candidate quit for reasons other than death or other extenuating circumstances (preferably with my personal approval) then your party cannot run a candidate in the by-election unless you pick up all the costs involved in running it.

    If your leader can't get himself elected in his own riding, perhaps you should be looking to pick a new leader! If you don't… then you can pick up the tab for getting him/her into a seat.

    As mentioned above, there are plenty of reasons to dislike our current system, but this new proposal is not a better solution.

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