October 4, 2007 by Allen George
Yes, it’s important that we’re choosing our future government, but the more substantive choice you’ve to make concerns electoral reform. You know: the referendum.
You’re not alone if you haven’t heard of it – it’s been given short shrift by government, media and citizens. It’s inevitable when paired with the press-release driven atmosphere of electioneering.
The referendum asks if we want to change our legislative selection process from First Past the Post (FPTP) to Mixed Member Proportional (MMP). Proposed by the Ontario Citizen’s Assembly on Electoral Reform, MMP purportedly addresses some of the issues with FPTP. One Ballot, Two Votes – the Assembly’s recommendation highlights report – describes the assembly’s makeup, its guiding principles and the mechanics of MMP. I also found the longer Description of the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly’s MMP interesting because it describes other MMP jurisdictions like Germany and New Zealand and explores hypothetical scenarios in depth. And, this being the TV/Youtube era, you can’t have citizen engagement without video, so I’ve embedded the ultra-condensed talking-head version below.
But the problem isn’t simply “understanding the question”, as Elections Ontario claims in its insipid ads – it’s more fundamental than that. First, did the Citizen’s Assembly correctly diagnose the cause of citizen apathy? Will MMP go some way towards mitigating it? And, more importantly, will MMP give Ontario the wherewithal to make hard decisions on the fundamental changes coming up?
Anyways, we’ve a choice to make, so inform yourself and have your say on October 10.
Flickr photo page: Votez