Sunday, October 07, 2007

provincial election buffoonery #2 - MMP the punctured patch

Imagine the disappointment. One waits a lifetime for something to be fixed, then it receives a half-ass hack job.

The antiquated electoral system in this country needs serious reform. Proportional representation is probably the best answer but this Mixed Member Proportional idea is so laughably flawed, it’s almost as if it was designed to fail… but I’ll return to that thought.

What’s wrong with the current system? It basically boils down to math. In a member or riding system, a party can win power despite the fact that they did not receive the most votes. I often like to illustrate this by describing an admittedly improbable, yet possible extreme.
Imagine 3 parties fighting for 100 ridings. It’s mathematically possible for a party to receive 33.4% of the votes in 51 ridings (without a single vote in 49) and form a majority government. Therefore, it’s mathematically possible to form a majority parliament with just over 17% of the vote. This just serves to illustrate how unrepresentative our representation can be.

What’s wrong with MMP? First of all, we’re adding MPPs. With salaries, benefits and expenses, I guess well over a million dollars a year. A million bucks could hire a few doctors and teachers… but maybe that’s just another one of my crazy ideas.
More disturbing is the fact that Queen’s Park will be populated by 39 un-elected MPPs. Un-elected… APPOINTED!
The second part of your vote, which is toward a party rather than your local MPP, allows the party to appoint an MPP. What on Earth, given the history of politics, would lead anyone to believe there will be any altruism in these appointments? You may optimistically vote NDP but find out that the head of CUPE is now your MPP. You may optimistically vote PC and find out that the CEO of INCO is now your MPP. It’s just not democratic.

So, how to vote? I don’t know. There is no third option on the ballot. I fear that a vote either way may kill reform. If “we the people” say yes to MMP, then that might convey a message of satisfaction and the process may stop. Likewise, if we say no, it could also convey the message that we like the system the way it is. This is the flaw by design I alluded to earlier.

All I can say is try to make an informed decision and don’t ever allow the process of reform to stop.
http://voteformmp.ca/
http://nommp.ca/

No comments: