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Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett supports Yes Campaign for Ontario MMPR.

I see from the news this morning that the “Yes” forces for changing Ontario’s electoral system to the Mixed-Member Proportional Representation model that the Citizens’ Assembly endorsed were out in force yesterday:

“We think that the mixed-member proportional proposal is a winner and we fully expect it to be strongly endorsed by Ontarians on Oct. 10,” said “Vote Yes for MMP” president Joe Murray. “Why will Ontarians vote Yes? Because it will help modernize our political arena, it builds on the system that we’re used to … (and) gives voters more choice, fairer elections results and stronger representation,” he said. Murray assumes a No drive will occur but agreed that so far the most vehement opposition has come from media pundits.

(That would be referring to the Toronto Star mostly, as we’ve had at least 3 of their pundits come out and go against this proposal).

What caught my eye though, was that one prominent Liberal MP – one-time leadership challenger Dr. Carolyn Bennett,† came out in support of the Yes campaign:

†Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s) was on hand at the Yes launch to note that a proportional representation system will almost certainly ensure more women in the Legislature. “The old boys’ network has always worked well for the boys. We now want it to work well for the girls,” said Bennett, adding it’s “embarrassing” there are so few elected women in Canadian politics.

I hope that means she is also open to electoral reform at the federal level.† It would be nice to see some prominent Liberal MP’s come out and say they are. Perhaps Bennett will be one of those.

12 comments to Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett supports Yes Campaign for Ontario MMPR.

  • One thing that MMPR does not address is vote dilution, which results in unbalanced parity for urban populations.

    More importantly, it severely hinders the proportional representation of minority groups that are often centered in urban areas.

    See:  http://lawiscool.com/2007/07/29/vote-dilution-means-minorities-have-less-voice/

  • Green, it's a matter of critical mass. Sure, your two readers won't make a difference, but you can expect during the election period that people will google blogs about MMP. Your post will be in those results. What I think is important is to create momentum through collective effort.

  • SUZANNE,

    I do plan on blogging about MMP but I don’t think my 2 readers will really tip the vote over the top :em65:

  • Thank you for posting about MMP. It’s very important for supporters to educate and promote, as the government will not be promoting it. 60% of Ontario voters must agree to it. This is a system that will increase political diversity and be much more representative and allow voters to have a greater say in the political make-up of the government.

    If you are an Ontario blogger who supports MMP, I suggest you blog about it to your “core” constituency.

  • GAB,

    I am surpised however that as a member of Fair Vote Iíve not recieved any call to action of any kind.

    I’m surprised, too, because I’ve gotten tons of stuff, and I’m not even in Ontario! You might want to make sure they have your latest email address/snail mail address.

  • mushroom

    Scott,

    Greg Morrow has a list of all prominent Ontario politicians/ex-politicians supporting PR on the democraticSPACE website. It is updated regularly.

  • “Could it be that they fear a loss of their undue influence on voters?

    Are they just lackeys following their owners corporate/political agendas?”

    Or, just perhaps, they have an honest disagreement with MMP? You know, there are people who actually disagree with the suggested reform.

  • I didnt know that – admittedly I haven’t followed Bennett’s career that much up til now.

  • Bennett has always been in favour of proportional representation. She brought it up as a plank in the platform of her leadership race (which is more than we can say for Dion, who specifically said he wouldn’t do that), she’s spoken at Fair Vote Canada events, the works. Judging from some of the speeches she’s given on the topic, she seems to be a little confused about some of the details, and that leads to a couple of very odd policy positions, but we can’t have everything. But she’s the real thing on this issue, in any case, and she deserves every bit of support from electoral reformers from all parties.

  • mushroom

    Not surprised at all.

    Many of Bennett’s initial supporters on her leadership campaign have been campaigning for proportional representation since the early 90s, notably Howard Brown.

    Michael Bryant has gone on the record as supporting PR.

    The key is whether the referendum will pass the 60 per cent threshold.

    No need to remind you, the Liberal leader supports PR as a political scientist.

  • We can see why certain parties might be against it but I don’t see why such a strong resistance against PR comes from the media.

    Could it be that they fear a loss of their undue influence on voters?

    Are they just lackeys following their owners corporate/political agendas?

    PR means more choices, more choices means people will have to learn more about the issues and the parties which should give the media losts to talk about, if they actually want to do their job right, which by most accounts they don’t

    Of course if they continue to warp and edit the message as they have been doing they are sure to lose more readers to internet sources.

    I am surpised however that as a member of Fair Vote I’ve not recieved any call to action of any kind. If they have a plan they don’t seem to be in any rush to share it.

    Has anyone even seen a banner we can post supporting PR in ontario?

  • So it begins…

    The Toronto Star followed up CP’s coverage of the Vote Yes campaign kickoff yesterday, with a piece titled “Foes take first shot at `first past the post’.”
    According to the article, Vote Yes president Joe Murray expressed dismay…

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