Friday, August 31, 2007

Will the voters be "fully informed" by the Elections Ontario Information Campaign?

A great and seemingly true post today on the Vote For MMP blog. More on this issue from Liberals For MMP later. For now, here is the post by Steve Withers in its entirety:

"Will we be "fully informed" by the Elections Ontario Information Campaign?

The answer would appear to be a resounding NO. Why?

Because they are not required to explain to anyone WHY the Ontario Citizens' Assembly recommended MMP for Ontario. So Elections Ontario is producing no information about why Mixed Member Proportional was recommended. Yes, there are links to the Ontario Citizens' Assembly web site here and there on the web site, but the rationale for adopting MMP is nowhere to be seen in the primary information on offer. It's buried. we still have the Citizens' Assembly pamphlets and booklets to inform us, right?


Despite strong and growing public demand as people wake up to the huge void in the official information campaign, the government now refuses to print any more Citizens' Assembly materials. The 500,000 pamphlets are supposed to be enough. If you don't have one, I guess you can go door knocking looking for one or maybe check the auctions on Ebay.

The findings of the Citizens' Assembly are now being dismissed as "advocacy material" by the very same Democratic Renewal Ministry that ran the entire deliberative process that produced the MMP recommendation. To be fair to the Minister, Marie Bountrogianni, this decision was mostly likely imposed on her from above.

It's a good thing we don't apply the same logic to murder convictions or killers would run free because the juries' deliberative, evidence-based verdicts would be dismissed as "advocacy" and unfair to the accused.

At this point, it looks like the government has not only dropped the electoral reform referendum ball, but they have attempted to bury it as well by choking off non-Internet access to the Citizens' Assembly materials explaining WHY they recommended MMP.

The Citizens' Assembly, after considering all the facts, voted 94 to 8 in favour of Mixed Member Proportional. If MMP is not carried on October 10th, it will be due to the failure of the information campaign that was supposed to "fully inform" voters. As the Citizens' Assembly members were fully informed. With each passing day it looks like the case for demanding a fair referendum, supported by a sincere information campaign grows stronger.

But what about October 10th? Clearly, it's now MORE important than ever that we assert OUR ownership over our voting system and bring in MMP. Mixed Member Proportional would make the one-party, bad-faith tricks currently underway with respect to this referendum much more difficult in future.

The people I feel genuinely sorry for in all this (aside from Ontario voters) are the Liberal MPPs who supported the Citizens' Assembly effort in good faith. They have been badly let down by the cynical power brokers who clearly call the shots in the Ontario Liberal government.

This is a "Get up! Stand up!" moment, folks. On October 10th, let's do it. Let's show them it's OUR voting system....not theirs.

Tell your friends, volunteer....and DONATE NOW! We want TV ads and radio ads and full page ads...and that takes MONEY.

Then Vote for MMP."


Anonymous said...

This is what happened in BC too I think, with the same set up. They set the referendum threshold to 60%, and the votes FOR MMP was around 58%. So it failed.

You'd think the NDP would be using some funds to advertise MMP.

Linuxluver said...

Anonymous: Political parties are prohibited by law from doing as you suggest. Nor can they provide any material support to any campaign on either side of the question. That law makes sense.