Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Liberal candidate Selwyn Hicks endorses MMP

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Ontario Liberal candidate Selwyn Hicks is endorsing the Ontario Citizens' Assembly proposal for Mixed Member Proportional.

Hicks' comments appear in yesterday's Owen Sound Sun Times.

Hicks "wholeheartedly" supports the citizen group's proposals, saying, "I personally have looked into the issue and done my research and think it makes a whole lot of sense."

He thinks the current system is flawed because a party's percentage of the popular vote isn't reflected in its number of seats. Hicks pointed to the 1993 federal election after Brian Mulroney stepped down. His successor Kim Campbell's Tory government was unfairly left with just two seats out of the then-295-seat Commons, yet had earned 16 per cent of the popular vote (over 2 million votes.)

"I think it fixes a problem with our current system," Hicks said. He also likes the idea of having members-at-large. "And they're thinking about the entire province, which we're supposed to do once we're elected."

He thinks it would be "legitimate" for people to vote against the electoral reform based on confusion how the party lists of at-large members will be chosen. But it would be "political suicide" for a party to create a list "without some kind of transparent process."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hicks fully supports the "Mixed Member Proportional" legislatural reform, but he admits there is confusion about how members-at-large are chosen. Giving the winning party the power to fill extra seats doesn't seem much like democracy, so since there is such confusion over this point, I will vote against MMP. Maybe Mr. Hicks will get himself votes by clearing up this confusion.

Matt Guerin said...

anonymous, please read Mr. Hicks' comments from the published newspaper article again. It says he "wholeheartedly" supports the citizen group's proposals, saying, "I personally have looked into the issue and done my research and think it makes a whole lot of sense...I think it fixes a problem with our current system," Hicks said. He also likes the idea of having members-at-large. "And they're thinking about the entire province, which we're supposed to do once we're elected."

He also said it would be "political suicide" for a party to create a list "without some kind of transparent process." We wholeheartedly agree.

There isn't any confusion about how parties will choose their province-wide candidates - it's clear in the proposal that parties can do so as they see fit, they must only report to Elections Ontario who's on their list and how they created them. Most parties will nominate lists with regional balance, gender balance and ethnic balance, if they hope to compete with other parties. The system will be competitive, forcing parties to put forth the best lists possible on their province-wide team.

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