ACTION ALERT: Support mixed member proportional representation
September 27, 2007
In addition to casting ballots in the Ontario provincial election on Wednesday October 10, voters in Ontario will be asked in a referendum whether they want to implement a new system of mixed member proportional (MMP) representation.
As reported in the Ottawa Citizen, under MMP, “Ontario would be split into 90 ridings, each slightly larger than the current 107. The “local members” would still be elected the old-fashioned way — he or she with the most votes gets sent to Toronto. But there would be 129 MPPs in total. The remaining 39 so-called “list seats” would be allocated based on each party’s share of the party vote. This is where the votes cast for political parties are important. If the party’s share of this second vote is greater than the number of MPPs elected in local ridings, then the party is awarded a number of “top-up” seats from the pool of 39 seats.”
For extensive information on mixed member proportional representation, please go to the ‘Vote for MMP’ website at www.voteformmp.ca.
The Council of Canadians believes that MMP is more democratic than our current electoral system. It ensures a fairer representation of votes cast, and prevents a governing party from holding total power after earning only a small percentage of the popular vote, which is the case now with the first-past-the-post system. MMP would also allow for a better representation of parties, of people and their issues.
The ‘Vote for MMP’ campaign has an initiative called “Sign the Pledge: Yes for MMP!” in which you can “Tell the world you’re supporting MMP and in one sentence say why by signing the pledge.”
Your support is important. In this upcoming referendum, MMP must win 60 percent of voter support across the province, and it must be approved by a majority of voters in at least 60 percent of electoral districts.
For those across the country, please note that in February 2006 the Council of Canadians reaffirmed its support for proportional representation as an important aspect of electoral reform in Canada and called on the federal government to make this a priority and to consult with Canadians on a preferred model before its adoption.
Brent Patterson, Director of Organizing and Campaigns, The Council of Canadians