But even if you believe that the current system is seriously flawed, where is the evidence that this particular change would do more good than harm? The potential drawbacks and consequences haven't even begun to be explored. For instance, what would be the effect on regional representation of reducing the total number of ridings from 107 to 90, and adding 39 seats for new legislators appointed from party lists to reflect province-wide vote totals? It's a good bet that rural and northern Ontarians might well find themselves with even less representation than at present, which would scarcely be a triumph for democracy.
Likewise, would it really improve over-all representation to have two classes of MPPs, with one-third of them exempted from having to be elected, maintaining contact with constituents or facing the accountability of having to seek personal re-election? The proposed system would also make minority governments much more likely, if not inevitable. Occasionally having minority governments has its benefits. But since such governments tend to make decisions based on short-term expediency rather than long-term planning, and to be more high-spending as they toss bones to stay in power, do we want to deliberately make them more frequent or even permanent?
Radwanski also criticizes the lack of information on the subject and the rushed format, referring to it as "sideshow to a one-month election campaign". Well, unofficially I think that election campaign has been going on for months now, but it's true that the officials, media and pundits only seem to be getting into the issues of MMP now.
He closes with a suggestion that since "it's too late now to rescind the provincial legislation requiring the referendum concurrent with this election, it would be best to defeat the proposal soundly, then revisit the whole issue thoughtfully and separately a year or more down the road."
This is the point I have been trying to make - This is not a now or never situation. Don't be pressured. If you dislike FPTP, there are other options out there.
But most of all, please vote.
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Important Update: Please check out Allan Cutler's column at Step to the Right - "A new way to vote; not a better way to vote".