Also in today’s ‘Post’ are two columns, one by Colby Cosh and another by Lawrence Solomon, citing, among many other things, New Zealand as an example of why Ontarians should vote ‘NO’ to MMP.
Colby Cosh on New Zealand:
How rarely MMP supporters seem to mention that the race-based Maori Party has become a major power-broker in their hero-country, New Zealand.Colby's main point, though, is that FPTP "ain’t broke"and Ontarians aren’t calling for change anyway:
Also Ontarians are being asked to vote for a pig-in-a-poke:
The plain fact is that Ontarians have greeted the prospect of electoral reform with an apathy that must surprise even a hardened cynic. If there were such abundant appetite for change, any particular alternative to FPTP might well win or lose with the voters in a referendum.....Is it possible that people are largely satisfied with FPTP, in all its tainted majesty, because it is simple, clear, fair and time-tested?
...Ontarians are being asked to vote in the referendum for a principle not yet cast in the stone of specific legislation; it remains to be decided [for example] whether any formal requirements will be imposed on the parties in ordering their lists...
...it's surely better for Ontarians to simply vote "No" to a blank cheque for reform...
Lawrence Solomon argues persuasively that MMP ("Myriad Minority Parties") is a "force for division" :
Now the fastest growing political party in the world, the Pirate Party offers youth the right to download pirated music and movies --a basic human right, it argues. The Pirate Party -- which says it will support any ideology in a coalition government, as long as it gets its way on free downloads......This year it surpassed the Swedish Green Party in members, and in 2009 it is expected to be the Hot New Thing in European Union-wide elections.
...if Ontarians vote for MMP in the referendum Oct. 10, look for MSM messaging, Face-Book and political chat-rooms to hum, exhorting our youth to join the political process to make free downloads a reality.
In New Zealand, an orgy of crass political deal-making so offended the electorate after it switched to MMP in 1996 that three years later, in a citizen-initiated referendum, more than 80% voted to roll back MMP......[However] True to form, the newly entrenched politicians ignored the non-binding referendum, and continue to this day to resist calls for reform.
....Italians and Israelis are likewise trying to reform their dysfunctional systems of proportional representation.
In the worst cases, proportional representation gives voice -- and vent -- to the vileness in humanity. In France, ... the bigot, Jean-Marie Le Pen... won 32 seats, making him a major political force until public revulsion at proportional representation led to its repeal in favour of a system more like ours. Without proportional representation, Le Pen lost all 32 seats and his party became a spent political force.
Ontario has its Le Pens, striving to divide us, as it has regionalists and pirates and others with grievances to nurse.
There is no shortage of unintended consequences associated with changing the time-tested FPTP system. Be careful what you wish for!!
And another thing! I confess I’m not just a little envious and annoyed at all the attention being paid to the Ontario vote on MMP. Envious because I don’t recall anywhere near this much debate in the run up to the BC referendum on STV. Annoyed because this seems to be another example of just how ‘Ontario-centric’ the MSM remains.
I just hope the anti-PR pundits keep their arguments handy for the next time the PR-freaks attempt to shove it down our throats in BC.