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MMP is NOT being forced on Ontario by the political elite

I’m going to have to disagree with Aaron’s posting here where he claims MMP and the Charlottetown Accord are more or less the same situation where “honest people set out to solve a problem facing them. In both cases, they arrived at a solution that much of the political class approved of”.

There are a few differences here. First, I’d sure like to see what “political class” in Ontario is supporting MMP. The recommendation was picked by the Citizen’s Assembly, 103 regular people – none of them politicians. In addition, Election law is forcing the parties to stay neutral on the question. Sure, there are a few Liberal Cabinet Ministers and a couple of high-profile politicians in the Liberal camp federally supporting this, but there are also Cabinet Ministers and high profile politicians on the No side as well. It also at minimum is dividing the rank and file – the Young Liberals last week voted 2/3 against support of MMP – they might not be the “political class”, but they’re well connected within the party’s goings on.

I would guess the same is going on in the Progressive Conservative camp, and to be honest, from what I’ve seen, there are more of them in that party against then for MMP. The political class is at least divided on the issue. As for the other part, I’ve already mentioned that ordinary people on the CA helped pick this model. That certainly can’t be said for the Charlottetown Accord.

So, regardless of whether you’re voting “yes” or “no” to the proposed MMP switch, I don’t think the “political class supports this” is a justifiable argument one way or the other – just as I don’t think its fair to say there’s a Liberal Party high ranking silent conspiracy to kill MMP, as some have stated elsewhere.

3 comments to MMP is NOT being forced on Ontario by the political elite

  • Justin Wells

    Whoever draws up "the list" for each party will wield an enormous amount of political power. Anyone elected off that list will be in thrall to the list maker–their potential for re-election will depend on whether their name is on the list next time around or not, so they will have to toe the list maker's line. Is that what we want? More power in the hands of the party leadership? We ALREADY have a problem with back-benchers not having enough clout and in my view this just makes it even worse. I am voting "no" to this proposal. Sure, it'll help smaller parties, and that is a good thing; but the impact on the governing party will be harsh: All real power will concentrate in the hands of the Premier.

  • Greg

    If this initiative fails it will be a triumph of the party establishments of the Liberal and Conservative Parties, not a defeat.  The government set the bar at 60% after all and I am getting more and more convinced (as is Dr. Dawg) that the Liberal back room is working very hard  to scuttle this thing (while leaving Dalton's hands clean).  It is just perverse to suggest that the elites want MMP to pass.

  • And most importantly, Cherniak hates it.

    Seriously. I’m sure Jason is a perfectly nice fellow, and he makes some coherent arguments that I just happen to disagree with. But given that he has more or less assumed the position of Official Liberal Party Blogger, I think it’s pretty safe to assume from his support of the 'No' side that the party bosses have lined up against MMP as well.

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