Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Please, for the love of God, vote for MMP, Ontario!

All right, so normally, I tend to vote how I feel. However, if I was in my parents' riding, I would, without hesitation or any consideration, be voting for Ian Wilson, the Liberal candidate for Lanark, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington.

He seems good. That said, there's really only one reason to vote for him. His Regressive Progressive Conservative opponent is the one, the only... Randy Hillier. You see, Randy Hillier is the nutjob former leader of the Lanark Landowners Association, which has morphed into the Ontario Landowners Association now.

Randy's frightening to small children and progressive bloggers alike. However, even John Tory is trying to avoid Randy Hillier.

In case that article won't be available much longer, I cut and paste the relevant text:

"John Tory, PC:

Worst moment: Avoiding his own right-wing candidate, Randy Hillier, in the VIP tent at the International Plowing Match, the province’s largest agricultural fair, this week in Crosby. Mr. Tory entered the tent and froze when he saw Mr. Hillier. (Liberal operatives hope to snap a picture of the two men together in a bid to undermine Tory’s moderate remake of the party.) Mr. Tory then left the tent to regroup and came back in several minutes later, surrounded by a small group of people. The two men never shook hands."

Yes he's that scary that his own potential boss doesn't want to be seen with him.

OK, I won't continue with the defamation. However, this is a good reason for MMP - I'm sure just about every straight-headed progressive in that riding will vote for Ian Wilson regardless of political affiliation, and it would be unfair to force them to vote for one or the other in this multi-party democracy. This is why we need to have a mixed system, so that the likes of Randy Hillier CAN be defeated and our preference among the other parties can also be acknowledged.


joncormier said...

You've obviously not read anything about the MMP proposal because it wouldn't prevent someone like Hillier being elected more like ensuring he has to deal with more people like him.

I'm in the unenviable position of being for MMP but against this actual proposal. See, let's say Hillier wins in that riding - he'll keep it, but then let's say the Liberals win a majority. They can only get any proportional MPPs if their proportional vote is higher than the amount won during the FPTP part. Only if you are entitled to more seats do you get ANY of the proportional list MPPs. So tell me, how does that represent what the voters voted for any better than what we have now?

It doesn't, it only helps unpopular crackpot parties who are less appealing get free seats in order to represent Ontario as a whole, which means whatever they feel their party stands for on that day because these MPPS will come from parties without any internal structure or discipline (or a process for a by-election should they leave provincial legislature).


OK. I don't get why you're for MMP since it's pretty obviously a totally crazy idea from the get-go?

Umar said...

Here's why - I grew up in a riding that was a two-party riding. I voted there as recently as 2003. I'm neither Liberal nor Conservative, but had to swallow my pride and vote Liberal the last two elections, so that the Conservative would have real competition.

I don't want to have to do that as much anymore.

Perhaps Instant Run-off Voting (like what was proposed in B.C. a few years back) would be better, but that option isn't on the table - MMP is, and it's much better than first past the post.

Regarding Hillier, I don't see how MMP would increase the possibility of him getting elected. He's clearly so nutty that he wouldn't make the list, and more people, if they thought like me, would be more compelled to vote Liberal in the riding to defeat him, and then cast their vote for the NDP or Greens in the party vote.

I think that, in a multi-party democracy, First Past the Post is totally crazy - a majority with 37% of the vote, as happened in 1990? That's just not right (even if it was for the orange). If 20% of the population vote for a party, that party should have 20% of the seats. Simple as that. Democracy should not be about easing the job of the ruling party in managing the government, it should be about representing the population as fairly and evenly as possible. And yes, if that means coalition and minority governments, so be it.

joncormier said...

Oops, I meant Proportional Representation, not MMP as something I agree with. My bad.

I think you've hit the nail on the head - we're spoiled for choice now and the single-member representative feels unrepresentative. As long as you limit choices, single-member representation can have stronger results. But with more parties vying for the seat you win with less and less. We're simply spoiled for choice and it feels limiting. I don't think the proposal will eliminate strategic voting and I don't think it represents voters as much as it represents political parties whose members only represent about 1-3% of the population of Ontario.

I totally agree with your 20% gets 20%, but I'm not sure it would or could work in Ontario because of the crazy population distribution. I'm still trying to figure out what my ideal formula would be, I just know that denying proportional representation doesn't sit well with me because you're rewarding parties for simply being parties, not for having mechanisms or policies to ensure good candidates.