Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Final Decision re: MMP


That is what I will be voting - against MMP.


Just read who is supporting it here.

H/T Steve Janke who opened my eyes. A brilliant comment from one of his readers:

Reject MMP it's a scam to allow liberals to split the vote by running sycophant indi candidates and win the house through cooperative alignment after the election.

An insider sleaze paly if there ever was one.

If a Liberal is fogging a mirror they are actively plotting to scam you.

Posted by: WL Mackenzie Redux at August 28, 2007 09:10 AM

Great post here by Porno Christian - Proportional Representation: Invoking Godwin. (H/T to reader Brian in Calgary).

* * * *

Thursday Update: NO MMP!!!!

Great Canadian Debate - Holmstrom vs. Tribe on MMP


Anonymous said...

If the Family Network Coalition is supporting it then it's a bad idea.

I'm voting against it.

I'll never vote Liberal again!!

Kinsella's really hitting rock bottom on his blog these days re: crapping all over the faith-based schools issue. Is it because he too, like his leader chose a religious option for his children?

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

So you're against MMP simply because some (though by no means all) Liberals are in favour of it? Based on the idea that any Liberal who's breathing must be trying to scam you?

Honestly, that's has to be the DUMBEST reason to vote against MMP that I've heard so far.


Anonymous said...

Why I won't vote for MMP:

39 of 129 MPs will be "selected" not by the voters, but by party hacks from their "party lists" in the name of "fairness."

Thus, 30% of the Ontario legislature will be comprised of unelected "surprise MPs" while directly elected representation will drop to 7 in 10.

The net effect will be diluted direct representation and accountability.

It could be worse. In the former Soviet Union the entire government was selected from "party lists."

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Honestly, that's has to be the DUMBEST reason to vote against MMP that I've heard so far.

Ah, there's a nice civilized comment. I take it you're on the "For" side?

You just reinforced my decision. Thanks.

Steve said...

You just reinforced my decision. Thanks.

Aside from the nasty comment at the end, LKO does have a point...you're stating that you will be voting against MMP because some - but not all - Liberals are for it and every Liberal must be trying to scam you?

I'm sorry Joanne, but that is a pretty bad reason to vote against MMP. Personally, I'm voting against it too, but for less partisan reasoning.

Matt Guerin said...

I've had a tonne of referrals to our Liberals For MMP (http://liberals4mmp.blogspot.com) from your blog today. Thanks so much for the traffic link. All readers can see our ongoing poll: "In Quebec in 1998, the Parti Quebecois won fewer votes than the Liberals under Jean Charest, but the PQ still won a MAJORITY government thanks to first-past-the-post. Was this fair?" Currently 77% agree that a system like First-Past-The-Post which has handed the SECOND PLACE party a victory in 6 out of 10 provinces in recent decades is so badly flawed it must be replaced. Is it Tory policy to support voting systems that routinely hand power to the second place party?

Anonymous said...

Oh for heavens sake - scam be damned - the paranoia is astounding. Janke is a paid conservative shill that like to kick up sh*t.

People have been hounding governments for years about this and now they bitch and moan and groan.

I'm not for it - but scam? Please.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks so much for the traffic link.

Mon plaisir, Matt. ;)

Actually, I've been on the fence for a while now on this one, as many of my loyal readers know.

But Calgary Grit was first to make me realize this wasn't the way I wanted things to go.

Anonymous said...

lord kitchener's own "so you're against MMP simply because some (though by no means all) Liberals are in favour of it? Based on that any Liberal who's breathing must be trying to scam you?

Yep, pretty much. When it comes to scaming voters no one does it better than the Liberals.

Oh, and I find it rather interesting lord kit that you'd align the Family Network Coalition with the Liberals. I'm thinking that Steve Janke should like to know about the slight slip of your tongue.

The biggest yak of the day is watching captain Kinsella trying to turn tables to have us believe that it is in fact John Tory and NOT dingy Dalton's whose the promise breaker. Not a hope in hell on that front...McGuinty's record...a very public record speaks for itself nicely.

Greg said...

I hate to tell you this Joanne, but if MMP dies, establishment Liberals will rejoice. If you don't believe me, ask Cherniak. Liberals of that ilk are scared to death that they will not have the absolute power that 42% of the vote gives them. They are playing Conservatives for chumps.

Anonymous said...

As a small town Ontario I too will not be voting for the Liberals this time.

I do believe that the only red the Liberals will see come Oct. 10 is Toronto and the GTA because that's been the focus of the McGuinty gov't from day 1

At least Mike Harris, unpopular as he was on some fronts kept his word.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Sorry for being a bit rude Joanne (frankly, I know MMP is going to get less than 60%, so as a supporter of electoral reform, that makes me a bit cranky). But seriously, voting against something because someone else is voting for it is NOT a good reason. It's a DUMB reason (though that certainly doens't make YOU dumb).

As has been mentioned, with that kind of logic, I'd have rather assumed you wouldn't want to be on the same side of the debate as Jason Cherniak.

I wouldn't worry too much though. The establishment (including most of the Liberal party) are firmly against MMP, and I don't think that inertia can be overcome.

Rest assured that the days of Ontario lurching back and forth between Liberal and Conservative "majority" governments with 38-45% of the voting public's support are not in any real danger. There's no need to fear a legislature that actually reflects the votes of the people. I'm for MMP, and even I don't think it's going to happen.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Anon 1:52,

I never "aligned" the Family Coalition with the Liberals. I never mentioned the Family Coalition, or anything related to them. My comment was with regards to WL Mackenzie's comment that "If a Liberal is fogging a mirror they are actively plotting to scam you" where he was refering to Liberals, the incorrect notion that MMP was their idea, and which Joanne believes was a "brilliant" comment.

That comment itself was based on the eroneous suggestion earlier in the post's comments that "A Liberal came up with the MMP system", which simply isn't true (on so many levels).

The fact is, Janke's post wasn't even about MMP. It's about something totally different, and MMP came up only because it was mentioned that a person refered to in the post was a supporter of MMP, and the first commentator ran with that, and came to the ridiculous conclusion that "A Liberal came up with the MMP system". That was then compounded by the next commenter into MMP just being just a "Liberal scam".

Trust me. If MMP were a Liberal scam to screw the Tories, Cherniak would be on board.

Anonymous said...

Any Conservative should be against it, because they only stand to lose in any system based on the popular vote.

After all, screw democracy - better to take the politically advantageous route.

By the way, forget about religious schools getting funding. I don't want to have the Tom Cruise Scientological High School - and if Catholic schools want funding, they take the money with adherence to civil rights laws, meaning sucking it up and letting gay couples into the prom, and following sex education curricula and science curricula.

Gee, maybe it wouldn't be that bad of an idea, if not at least b/c it would be fun to ram the unpalatable down the throats of religious school boards. Yippeee!!!

PGP said...

As I've been saying all along....
The potential downside to MMP is far greater than ANY benefit.
It is a FLAWED concept that introduces unnecessary opportunities for abuse under the guise of "Fixing" the democratic process.

If you want to "Fix" something try working on the education system.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

That comment itself was based on the eroneous suggestion earlier in the post's comments that "A Liberal came up with the MMP system", which simply isn't true (on so many levels).

L.K. - Here is the direct quote from Steve Janke:

"(Michael Bryant is actively supporting MMP and was the former Minister of Democratic Renewal, where the idea of MMP came from)"

So if you have an issue with this, take it to Steve.

However, I was actually aware of Jason Cherniak's position on this.

There are a boatload of Liberal MPP's and Cabinet Ministers in favour though. That gives me cause for concern.

However, another reason I am against it is because those lousy so-and-so's just voted themselves a big raise at Christmas, and now they want to add more piggies to the trough?????

I don't think so.

Swift said...

Don't be to hard on Joanne, her brain is still on holidays. She will eventually see she made the right decission for the wrong reason. One of the good reasons to vote against MMP is that it disenfranchises many voters.For those who actively support a particular party it may be hard to believe, but many voters decide who to vote for primarily because of the quality (or lack of it) of the candidate in their local riding. Even those active in a party may not vote for that party's candidate in a particular election if they think they will not be a good MP(P). But with the proposed system you can not vote for an individual in the party list. Whether or not you think voting for an individual as opposed to a party is a good choice, it should remain a choice, and it doesn't under MMP.

Joanne: I've postd the reason for the physics question on your time off thread.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

PGP - I totally agree. It reminds me of what 'Gauntlet' said at CG's:

Here's how I look at MMP - it's like patching a hole in a sinking ship with a poisonous goop.

You're solving one serious problem and giving yourself another one...

Now that is brilliant.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

She will eventually see she made the right decission for the wrong reason

Sheesh. That was a bit rough, but your point is well taken. ;)

Regarding the physics thing, I glanced at it, but it scared me. As you said yourself, my brain is still on holidays. Sandy wants me to look at something too and it requires a lot more brain cells than I care to get firing at the moment. However, I am working up to it. Please don't despair!

liberal supporter said...

OT Joanne, you're slipping! There's no time to lose! Those blue lemons made Best of the Blogs today. It was terrible. Why, I spilled coffee all over the paper.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Those blue lemons made Best of the Blogs today. It was terrible. Why, I spilled coffee all over the paper.

lol! Good for Lemon. I don't usually get the print edition. Which post was it?

liberal supporter said...

Funding religious schools

The Sun tried to spin it as dissent within the conservative ranks. Even called them "sour"!

Gabby in QC said...

Welcome back, Joanne.

From the link provided by Joanne:
"In Quebec in 1998, the Parti Quebecois won fewer votes than the Liberals, but the PQ still won a MAJORITY government thanks to first-past-the-post. Was this fair?
YES (I love First-Past-The-Post)
  49 (23%)
NO (Let's try Mixed Member Proportional instead)
  163 (76%)
*Change your vote*
Votes so far: 212
Days left to vote: 43"

Far be it for me to tell Ontarians how to vote on this question, but using the Parti Quebecois victory as an argument FOR MMP is questionable. In Quebec, not only did/do we have the different parties to deal with, but also the franco/anglo/allophone alignments to contend with. But I suppose the Parti Quebecois serves a useful purpose in this survey as the bogeyman (not that I support the PQ!).

I did notice one little amusing thing in the survey above: the invitation - or was it an order? - to change one's vote.

As a commenter said: ".. now they want to add more piggies to the trough????? ..."
Not only provincially. I have often wondered why Canada needs 105 unelected senators, while a country like the US, with 10 times the population size, needs only 100 - and elected, at that.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Even called them "sour"!

No doubt a pathetic attempt at humour.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Gabby! Glad to be back. I agree with you that using the Quebec situation is probably not the most relevant way to argue for MMP in Ontario.

valiantmauz said...

Joanne - I try not to be deliberately insulting on your blog, but that has to be the most asinine rationale for voting against MMP that I've yet read.

Surely, the near complete silence of the MSM on the referendum should give you a clue?

Neither the Liberals or the PC's want MMP. Those two parties have a vested interest in the existing de facto two party system and neither is interested in sharing power when each has a 50:50 chance to form a majority government (Bob Rae's term notwithstanding).

Near as I can tell, neither party is about good government - they care about winning a majority, voter preferences be damned. If they can get that coveted majority with 40% of the vote, so much the better.

Given that the Liberals and PC's are the same indeterminate shade of gray, why the squeeing over the "impossibility" of conservative policies ever being implemented?

Look at the current federal government, for the love of gawd. The Cons can pass laws with the support of either the Libs or the NDP (at last count anyway), and I haven't noticed any paralysis over the last year and a half.

Like it or not, we don't have a system where 50% plus one of the voters make a binary choice. We do have a system where an "elected" government can rule -- not govern -- unimpeded for four years or more against the wishes of sixty percent of the populace. That is true whether the government is PC, Liberal, or NDP.

In no way is that even remotely democratic, no matter where you happen to land on the political map.

If we don't make an effort at representative government, we have only ourselves to blame when the next McGuinty, Rae or Harris takes us on their partisan magic carpet ride.

Nicol DuMoulin said...

Good for you Joanne,

You have chosen...wisely.

Anonymous said...

Out here in BC we had a similar process and our citizens group came up with the Single Transferable Vote (STV)system. The political parties hated it and campaigned vigouiously against it and it was defeated by 1% in one riding. All other ridings voted over 60% for it so it will be on the ballot again next election. It is a much fairer system and takes control away from the political parties. It gives popular independent candidates a much better chance of getting elected. It is how Ireland and New Zealand elect their parliaments. Cheers. sandra

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sandra, thanks for mentioning that. I have heard of that before, and it seems like a better system than MMP.

See, that's the thing. It doesn't have to be one or the other. There are other possibilities.

Nicol, thanks. ;)

Anonymous said...

The ones who want it the most are NDP'rs.

They've been on this for years and years and years and want it for Federal government as well.

Greg said...

It's true, the NDP do want this (although for some bizarre reason they have decided not to campaign for it), but then if you got 20% of the vote and 10% of the seats, you might be a bit pro-MMP too.

Moebius said...

LS spake thusly,

"The Sun tried to spin it as dissent within the conservative ranks. Even called them "sour"!"

This religious education thing is the stupidest idea I've ever heard from a Conservative. I have a feeling when the writ is officially dropped, it may disappear.

It's really the only way Tory can blow this election, if he doesn't withdraw it. He's giving DMcG a fighting chance, much more than he deserves, since he is promoting the status quo, even worse.

As to MMP, the thought of continuous minority governments doesn't bother me. Majority governments in Ontario have given us religious funding (Catholic only), a health tax (now being spent to buy votes), a huge debt, the Drive-Clean scam, etc.

Moebius said...

And, oh yes, welcome back, Joanne, you were missed!

And, for those typing furiously, I know that Catholic funding was originally introduced by a Conservative.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Moebius, thanks for the warm welcome. It's nice to know that I was missed.

Great discussion going on in response to Sandy's post at Jack's Newswatch about funding of faith based schools.

Brian in Calgary said...

There are good arguments for MMP and good arguments against MMP. However, here's the argument that would sway me if I were faced with having to choose. As the son of a WW2 Canadian Navy veteran, I think it's obvious which way it would prompt me to vote.

Oh, welcome back, Joanne.

John M Reynolds said...

I fear that it will guarantee minority governments too often. It seems to work in some other countries, but look at Italy - an election almost every year since 1945, because any coalition falls apart very rapidly. If we change, minority parties will have too much clout! I'd sooner keep our current system--at least we can turf them out on a rotating basis.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Brian, both for the kind words and the link. Good read there.

Kingston said...

I having reached a decision on this yet, but again as I said before, I wish one of the smaller provinces would try it out first, not one of the main economical engines of the country

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

I haven't watched this whole video yet, but FYI, here's a post with a video puporting to lay out a conservative argument argument in favour of MMP.

It's true that there don't seem to be many on the right supporting MMP, which I find sad as I think this reform is much more important than partisan politics (not that all opponents of MMP are opponents for partisan reasons, but the seemingly overwhelming lack of support on the right can't be ENTIRELY devoid of partisanship).

However, there are conservatives in favour of MMP, and I would encourage those of you on the right to listen to their arguments before making a decision. Perhaps their arguments won't sway you either, but at least you'll know that you're truly evaluating the arguments, and not being influenced by the partisanship of the speaker (as you might be when someone like me, or someone much further to the left, is trying to convince you of the efficacy of MMP).

Red Tory said...

You're citing "Porno Christian" and a guy from FreeDominion to bolster your argument... Wow. Talk about "reliable sources." ;)

Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

Red Tory said...

Hey, nice to see you back, by the way. Hope you enjoyed your mental health break from blogging and enjoyed a bit of the summer. Good for you!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Red. It was amazing to see that there is actually another world out there beyond blogging.

Also, no TV, no computer and only a local newspaper helped keep the blood pressure down.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

LKO - I promise to check that out later. Thanks for the link.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Lord Kitchener - I watched the video, and although it didn't sway me over to the other side, it did cause me to try to keep an open mind on the subject. Thanks for the info.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Good to hear Joanne,

Ironically, I viewed the video myself, and there were times I said "Ohhh, that's SO the wrong argument". Some of what he said in the video seemed to be based on PR generally, not MMP, and some on MMP, but not the actual VERSION of MMP recommended by the Ontario Citizens Assembly. Anyway, I think a much more convincing argument can be made.

One point I wanted to make was on the 3% threshold, which in the video it's suggested is too low, even though that is the threshold recommended by the OCA (I think this video might have actually been made BEFORE the OCA made their specific recommendations). I just wanted to point out that while 3% may seem quite low, it's important to keep in mind that in the last election no party that didn't win seats got more than 3%. The Green Party came closest with 2.8%. Besides the Green Party, no other small party received even ONE percent of the vote in the last election.

Just wanted to mention that because so many opponents of MMP seem really upset at the idea that MMP will somehow allow "fringe parties" to take over. Now, I've never understood what's supposedly so bad about a party that gets 3% of the vote getting 3% of the power, but still. While the Greens probably could get some few seats under MMP (if they increase their vote total by about 8000 votes or so) keep in mind that all those other parties would have to AT LEAST QUADRUPLE their vote (in most cases, much more than quadruple) to get any seats under MMP.

I'm not sure I'd ever want the "Family Coalition Party of Ontario" to have ANY power in Ontario, but if they somehow manage to QUADRUPLE their support among the elctorate, I'm not sure why they should be denied 2 or 3 seats.

Brian in Calgary said...

Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

I love you, too.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

LKO - Yes, Family Coalition is a huge supporter of MMP.

You may have another convert here as well.

As for me, I'm not budging for the moment.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...


Yeah, It'll be interesting to see what Greg finally decides, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if he came down on the MMP side.

I really wish there was a "Tories for MMP" site somewhere, like the Grit one that got this post going. Hugh Segal's support, and some support from some other Blogging Tories, and other generally "right of centre" bloggers lets me know that they're out there, it's just too bad there's no organized site for them.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Hi again!

Just thought you'd be interested in this post which strongly suggests that the powers that be in the government (i.e. the powers that be in the Liberal Party of Ontario) would REALLY like to see MMP go down to defeat.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

LKO - I'll give you "E" for effort, that's for sure. ;)

So why do you suppose that Bryant and Smitherman would be in the "for" camp?