Tuesday, October 09, 2007

MMP: Five Reasons I Vote No

1. I don't want larger ridings.

2. I don't want 39 of our MPPs to be unrepresentative of any riding, without constinuency office, constituency duties, constituency president, constituency board, or... constituency.

3. I don't think the 3% limit for list votes is high enough. It will lead to too many single-issue parties getting seats.

4. I don't believe that MMP will lead to more women and minorities in parliament. The parties have ways to elect more women or minorities now, and aren't using them.

5. I don't believe the current system is working badly.



cdlu said...

I agree with all your points.

The "MMP will lead to more women" lie is one of the most frustrating deceptions of the entire campaign. MMP's most fervent proponent - the Greens - have fewer than 20% female candidates. It's within parties' power to increase that representation if they are serious about it.

In Scotland, it should be pointed out, women make up a higher proportion of riding seats than list seats. Hmm!

Scott Tribe said...

Try checking New Zealand out, David. You'll see it isn't a lie. Since the implementation of MMP there, not only have more women been elected through the implementation of List representatives, but more Maori's, and more ethnic minorities have been elected, and it is more reflective of the ethnic diversity there, and there's no reason to believe it wouldn't happen here.

As Professor Dennis Pilon from the University of Victoria recently opined in the Star:

The proportional representation system that Ontarians have an opportunity to approve during the Oct. 10 referendum is simple, modest, and addresses many of the major problems with contemporary Ontario democracy that have long been identified by academics and political commentators from right to left. Imagine more accurate election tallies, a more competitive political environment where every vote would count for something, and better representation of Ontario’s diversity. These are not hypothetical possibilities, but the actual experience of countries similar to Canada that have proportional representation, as documented in a considerable body of academic research.

Scott Tribe said...

Furthermore, look at MMP in other countries, Ruth. They DO open up constituency offices regionally.. and they DO represent constituents.

Again, quantifiable evidence - and no reason to believe it wouldn't happen here. You again are putting out "what if's" and "maybes" without evidence to back it up.

Mark Greenan said...

More uninformed comments about MMP.

On #2 - almost all of the list MPPs will be running locally, so they will have a "constinuency office, constituency duties, constituency president, constituency board, [and a] constituency"

Because the list seat to local seat ratio is so low in the proposed Ontario MMP system, there are important incentives built into the system that encourage list MPPs to stay attuned to local concerns where they live. It is likely the first place party will win lots of local seats and therefore get less list seats. This means that a higher proportion of list seats will come from opposition parties. Obviously, all opposition parties hope to be in government someday, but if an opposition party become government, they'll no longer elect so many list candidates. This means that list MPPs can't rely on being on the list to get re-elected. Therefore, politicians being the rational, self-interested beings they are, I think MMP means more attention being paid to local concerns, not less.

On #4 - the cross-national evidence is clear, proportional voting systems elect more women. You can choose to ignore this evidence or distort it, but we would elect more women under MMP. No serious researcher on the of women's legislative representation would tell you otherwise.