Ontario Votes on Voting

On October 10, Ontarians will be voting for a new government, and also for a new voting procedure: if enough people say ‘yes’, we will shift to a Mixed Member Proportional system. The details are on the web, but basically this gives everyone two votes: one for a (geographic) riding member, the other for a party list. Seats will be split 90/39, and only parties pulling 3% or more for the list vote will get seats, which will shut out most of the nuts and extremists. It’s a good system; it’s certainly a big improvement over what we have now.

The devil, though, is in the details. In order for it to pass, at least 60% of all referendum ballots must say ‘yes’, and 50% of the voters in at least 64 electoral districts have to give it the thumbs-up. Given how little campaigning there has been, I’m betting that most voters won’t bother to check either option, so it will fail by default. That would be a shame: adding some proportionality to our current system would go a long way toward breaking the self-serving cycle of “gotta be in office to get elected”.

So please, get out and vote, and vote “yes”.

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