Tuesday, September 18, 2007

David Fleet - No MMP

At the St. Lawrence Forum held at the OISE building in Toronto, David Fleet from the No MMP campaign spoke about what he thought were the drawbacks of MMP.

Fleet mentioned that not a single Eastern European country chose MMP when they moved away from communism. That is true. What he didn't say was that not one country chose his cherished but antiquated First-Past-the-Post system. These countries did choose variations of voting systems that range form very proportional to not so proportional such as Parallel Voting where voters receive two ballots--one for the local candidate and the other for the party. However, under Parallel voting, the number of local seats a party wins has no effect on the party lists seats. One important note: Eastern European democracies that have performed better economonically and are not threatened with re-occuring dictatorship use very proportional voting systems. Those countries that use less than proportional system such as Parallel voting are performing not at great economically. Their democracies are not stable.

Fleet complained about the Ontario MMP proposal not having any regional representatives. Had the Ontario Citizens' Assembly proposed regional list representation, he would found a reason to complain about regional reps. who would not be in touch with local needs.

In the beginning of Fleet's presentation, he praised the time and effort of the members on the Ontario Citizens' Assembly. His problem was that they chose and designed the wrong system for Ontario. If the right reform came about, he might consider favouring it. Except he never mentioned once the type of voting system he would favour. There are other variation of proportional representation that he could consider favouring. The problem is that David Fleet opposes proportional representation, period. Had the Assembly chosen the open lists, regional lists, the Single Transferable Vote, or some other proportional variation, he would have found reasons to oppose any of these proportional variations.

David Fleet didn't like it when the Ontario Citizens' Assembly chose MMP. Its members were selected randomly and represented a cross-section of Ontario's population. If he cannot trust the OCA members to make a decision on a voting system for Ontario. Why would he trust juries of citizens at civil and criminal trials? Why would he trust citizens to make choices when voting for candidates? Let us be thankful that we at least have the First-Past-the-Post voting system rather than an appointed assembly. If that was all we had, which would Fleet prefer? An appointed assembly of knowledgeable people or a First-Past-the-Post legislature with elected members chosen by the Plebians of Ontario?

Let the Plebes unite and vote for a better democracy by supporting the Mixed Member Proportional voting system!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fleet also said something to the effect that it's unfair to the Conservative and Liberals for smaller parties to get representation. "It would mean more NDP seats. I don't think any of you would want that" or something to that effect.

He deliberately confused his opinion with unfairness - i.e. because he disagrees, it's unfair. Huh?