Sunday, July 22, 2007

John Lennard: Conceptualizing electoral reform

Liberal blogger and Queen's Park staffer John Lennard has posted an excellent, intelligent piece on his blog entitled Vote for MMP: Conceptualizing electoral reform.

This is the first in a series that Mr. Lennard will be posting on the important issue of electoral reform.

Here's an excerpt:

"As voters, we rightfully expect that our votes will help determine the philosophical direction our province takes. Most of the time, this is not the case. Most of the time, majority governments are formed by political parties which have received a plurality of votes in most ridings, but far less than a majority of votes overall. Most of the time, a majority of Ontarians are governed by a minority of Ontarians whose votes happened to be more efficiently spread throughout the ridings. Most of the time, most Ontarians have no real say in shaping our public policies.

And so, what's the solution? As I said earlier, our system needs to reflect the twin relationships the voter has with both the representative and the party. Local representation must remain a key feature of any new system. But party preferences need to be included as well. Just as every voter deserves a local representative to fight for local needs, every voter (insofar as practical) deserves a philosophical voice in the broader public policy debate.

The Mixed Member Proportional representation model proposed by the Citizens' Assembly achieves both goals."

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