Friday, August 17, 2007

Response to Getting it Right: Cherniak on FPTP - defending an untenable position

Here's a comment I left on the blog Getting it Right: Cherniak on FPTP - defending an untenable position:

Gooie middag,

I learned that from taking Dutch 101 at the University of Waterloo. The translation means "G'day, mate!"

Two websites I read almost every day are The Blogging Tories and The Progressive Bloggers. I generally find that people who get posted on the Blogging Tories tend to use a lot of nasty name calling when they criticize the positions of others. Progressive Bloggers use more arguments and less name calling than the Blogging Tories. It's a shame that the Blogging Tories need to use name-calling and blame the mainstream media, particularly the CBC and BBC, for all the problems in the world. If they used rational arguments, perhaps they would be taken more seriously.

Years ago, I used to be a member of Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative Party. I found that my voice within the party didn't count for anything. I could not participate in policy conventions. I could not pick the leader of the party. I had no voice. Once Brian Mulroney won his majority, The members of the party didn't matter to him when he as prime minister presented government policy. Mulroney won a second majority with a minority of the votes. My opinions didn't matter to him. It's wasn't that I expected him personally call me about Middle East foreign policy. There was just no forum for me to present my views to the government. My MP was a Liberal so his voice didn't count for anything.

Cherniak and his fellow Conservatives and Liberals are not stupid about MMP or first-past-the-post. They are highly intelligent. They don't say why they support FPTP; they use arguments to oppose MMP, STV, and any other proportional voting system. They do not care about the voters--only their own parties. For example, they will say that northern Ontario will lose representation and under MMP [and n]ortherners will lose their voices. What they don't mention that under the Mike Harris Conservative rule, the only northern Conservative MPP was Mike Harris himself. North Bay was represented in government, but not Kenora, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, and Sudbury. The people living in those cities were effectively shut out of government.

I am not supporting MMP because I want the NDP and Green Party to share power with each other or with the other parties in the Ontario legislature. I support MMP because I want my voice to be heard through legislators who will represent me. Those legislators can be Conservative, Liberal, NDP, Green, or from another party. I have voted for most of the parties listed above one time or another and will continue to do so.

The biggest reason why the opponents of MMP do not want people to vote for it in the Ontario referendum is because the opponents are afraid of the people getting more power to determine how we shape the nature of our legislature.

Dank je/Thanks

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