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Vote For MMP takes John Tory to task.

Not too long ago, I criticized John Tory for having the audacity to complain that MMP would mean that List Candidates would be “appointed” by party leaders, and these MPP’s would then only answer to the party. I pointed out that Tory was in a position as PC party leader to help prevent his own fear from happening by publicly declaring that the PC party would make sure to democratically select their List candidates. I challenged him (as did others in the Vote For MMP campaign) to show some of that vaunted “leadership” on this issue (which he keeps trying to tell people he has) and do a declaration to that effect. It is likely, as I stated in the earlier column, because he is apparently opposed to MMP (since his name is listed at the NO MMP site as one of those prominent politicians listed, and I haven’t seen yet that his name was removed) that he wishes to use the “appointed MPP” tactic as a way to propagate doubt about this.

Well, yesterday, he saw fit to repeat his so-called concerns, and Vote For MMP’s co-chair Rick Anderson has rightfully and publicly called him out on it:

According to a CP wire story, Mr. Tory yesterday repeated the misleading suggestion that province-wide candidates under the new MMP electoral system would be “appointed” rather than elected. “I think the whole notion of having appointed people may be heading in the opposite direction that we should,” Mr. Tory is reported to have said. “We certainly agree with Mr. Tory that appointed candidates have no place in the province’s legislature,” said Rick Anderson, chair of the Vote For MMP Campaign. “No one is proposing that there be appointed candidates under MMP – unless Mr. Tory is intending that Conservative party province-wide list candidates would be selected in this undemocratic manner.”

After explaining that other parties in other countries with different types of PR use democratic processes to pick their riding candidates, Mr. Anderson said and asked this of John Tory:

“Mr. Tory’s remark stands to confuse and mislead voters on the matter of whether candidates will be democratically nominated. Is he saying that the Conservative Party will not select candidates democratically? Is he accusing the other parties of this? Is he advocating that Ontario’s Elections Act specify how parties select candidates, a matter heretofore left to parties in
the expectation they will proceed democratically?”

I hope we continue to hammer away at him til he gives an answer – perhaps some of the press corps who read this blog and others like it might be inspired to ask John Tory that exact question and see what type of response he gives. Ask him if he’s so concerned about this, why won’t he just publicly commit that his party will democratically pick their list candidates? He doesn’t even have to agree with MMP to state this.

UPDATE: There are Conservatives out there that believe MMP will be beneficial. Also, just so Tory doesn’t think he’s being picked on, Liberals for MMP has called today for Dalton McGuinty to make public his views on this very same issue of how the list candidates will be selected.

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