Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Good news, for once

It's come to my attention that -- when I'm posting at all -- I've been a depressing blogger lately. Bad news in Iraq, bad news in the world, bad news bad bad bad. So it's nice to have some unvarnished good news to report, for once: the Ontario Citizen's Assemply (despite having a slightly Maoist ring to it) has decided on a mixed-member Proportional Representation scheme for Ontario. There's been consultations, deliberations, and now we've come out with this. I'm very pleased.

(An interesting essay on Germany's experience with MMP here.)

I'm such a sucker for electoral reform that I'd probably vote for any alternative to the status quo sight unseen. (Save, of course, an American presidential system!) But I'm actually a big fan of MMP, so this is especially good news. The OCA still has to put together the details of a system. Then we all get to vote on it in a referendum this October.

MMP is such an easy sell, if we can't win the 60% threshold for the referendum we probably deserve to lose. But if we win, that's a huge step forward for electoral reform in other provinces and even -- dare to dream! -- nationally.

I'm smiling a bit this morning.


Technetium said...

Don't get your hopes up too high for the first run at it. We in BC had to hit that 60% to pass our Citizens' Assembly recommendation (A funky made in BC form of STV) and we got 58% and majorities in 70 of 72 ridings (I think)...

We're gonna get another crack at it soon though, and this time with exact detail what the riding's would look like under the system...Woot! for electoral reform!

Declan said...

58% of the population never deserves to lose to 42%, at least not outside questions of minority rights. That's my opinion.

Anyway, prepare yourself for an avalanche of idiocy from the media, and fearmongering about how party elites will be controlling your lives from their backrooms and the impending damage to the sacred link between MPP and constituency and how it is impossible to have two different types of MP's co-exisiting, and how people in New Zealand started practicing cannibalism after adopting MMP and the German economic growth rates dropped from 2.2% to 2.1% after they adopted MMP and how it's too hard for 'Joe Average' to understand, and people only support it because they think it will make their party do better, and it will allow the nazis to take over the government of Ontario and how Italy is a basket case because they have MMP, and how the status quo is fine so it's too risky to change and how minority governments will plunge Ontario into deficit or crisis and there will be an election every 7 weeks and it will cost too much money and it will be too hard for the networks to cover and we can't afford to expand the legislature for the extra MPP's and why should we have more MPP's and pay all that cost when we hate politicians, and how simple is better, and how parties are illegitimate so they shouldn't be given a formal role in the electoral system and wouldn't it be nice if we all voted for independents and how will we ever make tough decisions without giving one party absolute power for up to 5 years and how in some patriarchal society with PR somewhere on the mediterranean, not many women get elected and on and on.

Should be fun!