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How many Ontario PC’s support MMP?

Jim Calder of The Progressive Right is trying to find that out with this post. He claims he can’t be the only Progressive Conservative in the province who supports MMP (he’s technically right, he lists Hugh Segal on his page as a supporter 😉 ), but I guess we’ll find out if there are PC’s in the province that believe electoral reform is something Ontario should be implementing. I’m not hopeful, to be honest, as I believe they feel any new system that requires coalition or informal agreements with other parties to rule hurts them (to get that “Holy Grail” of majority government to do as they wish), but perhaps I can be pleasantly surprised.

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11 comments to How many Ontario PC’s support MMP?

  • mushroom

    "Also, I would say they risk a party split by doing that (after all a splinter group would only need 3% to get MPPs)."

    Not as easy as you think it is, Scott.  Has the Family Coalition Party of Ontario got close to three percent in recent elections?  At the same time, list MPPs account for only one-third of elected representatives.

    If there are defections, they tend to come from the directly elected MPPs.  In a coalition government, independents play a crucial role.  So the Chuck Cadmans and Bill Caseys of the world will remain the gadflys of arrogant governments.

  • I think Mark is worrying too much and Aaron’s being a tad pessimistic.

    There is nothing in the recommendation from the Citizens Assembly about what the process has to be to pick those seats. determining how we fill the list seats is something political parties  will need to determine if MMP passes. Determining how lists seats are filled will require work on the various parties' constitution and will be a welcome exercise in party nomination reform, but only after MMP is accepted

    As a member of the Liberals For MMP group, I would say if MMP passes, we as Liberal Party members would be vigilant in ensuring not only that our own procedures for selecting list candidates are fair, open and democratic, but that other parties are accountable as well.

    For example, you can bet your bottom dollar that if the Tories don’t nominate a diverse slate, or if they use an unfair nomination process, we’ll make sure everyone knows about it. If a party chooses its list in the back-rooms, their opponents will use that as a way to get votes. Also, I would say they risk a party split by doing that (after all a splinter group would only need 3% to get MPPs).

  • "Ontario's major political parties already manipulate nominations (arranging acclamations, overulling nominations and instead appointing candidates, stopping sitting MPs from being challenged, to name a few), so if the worst happens here, we'll have the system we already have, with a bit more proportionality thrown in."

    Exactly. Parties adapt to their environments. MMP would only move this particular power from local shadowy figures to upper-level party shadowy figures.

  • Michael:

    It's not up to the referendum or the citizen's assembly to decide how the party lists will be made. That debate will come in the Legislator when the bill is introduced, assuming MMP passes.

    Ontario's major political parties already manipulate nominations (arranging acclamations, overulling nominations and instead appointing candidates, stopping sitting MPs from being challenged, to name a few), so if the worst happens here, we'll have the system we already have, with a bit more proportionality thrown in.

    Party lists are justifiably criticized, but they are not in any way the death kneel of the proposed MMP system.

  • Michael Bednarski

    To Mark Francis:

    From what I understand, the Ontario Citizens' Assembly gave the party great latitute in creating lists.  The only things that are required are for the parties to explain how their lists were created and who is on the lists before the actual election day.  The OCA hopes that the lists will be democratically made.  It will be up to the parties to decide if all the party members, a select few, or just the leader will pick and rank the list members.  One party may have the best candidates at the top (irrespective of gender) while another party may zipper its list (man-woman-man-woman and so on).  Elections Ontario won't be telling the parties how to select their list candidates.  That is up to the parties to decide.  It will be up to the voters to decide if the lists are balanced and fair.

    If Progressive Conservative members are against party lists because they fear that party hacks will decide who gets ranked on the list, then perhaps those members who support proportional representation should convince their own party to develop a procedure to make the PC list democratically designed.  This should be do-able in any party.

  • You should let Jim Calder know about that, Mushroom.

  • mushroom

    Greg Morrow at democraticSPACE has a list.  None of them are in politics at the present.

    Off the top of my head there is: Alan Redway, John Oostrom, Patrick Boyer (who is running as Iggy at Etobicoke-Lakeshore), and given her support for Fair Vote, Janet Ecker.
    Not the diehard so-cons or Harpo Cons. 

  • The PCs claim that the MMP party lists won't be transparent, even though the system of creating those lists is not yet known, and would not be known until MMP passes and the actual legislation is tabled.

    Of course, our current system(s) of candidate nominations is anything but transparent.

  • Whooee! The big "losers" in any PR plan are the large, old, established parties. Under the current disproportional system, they are the major recipients of undeserved seats. This issue makes a good litmus test. If you're a supporter of one of the two big parties and you are against MMP, you're indicating that your party standing means more to you than democracy.

    Good on you, Scott, as an LPC member to back a more democratic system. I see Cherniak is organizing against MMP. If he ever runs for office, this will come back and bite him.

    I was against PR years ago before I knew much about it and before I'd thought much about how bad our FPTP system really is. Once I gave PR a chance and studied it as a viable alternative, I was a convert.

    In a close 4-way race, an MPP can be elected with 25.1% of the vote. 74.9% of voters can vote against a candidate and that candidate can be elected. Once elected, they can choose to represent their supporters and ignore those 3/4 who voted against them. How can anyone support a system that allows a candidate to win an election when a vast majority vote against that candidate?

    JB

  • Like I said, I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised.

  • I strongly doubt there are any PC's who support MMP.

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