Monday, September 10, 2007

Campaign officially begins today

Premier Dalton McGuinty visited Ontario's Lieutenant-Governor David Onley today to officially dissolve the legislature and begin the Ontario election/referendum campaign. In addition to electing a new government on October 10th, voters will also choose between the current First-Past-The-Post voting system and the new Mixed Member Proportional voting system recommended by the Ontario Citizens' Assembly earlier this year.

There are a couple of news articles of note in today's papers.

The Toronto Star ran a front page story on the electoral reform referendum. However, reporter Kerry Gillespie makes the error in the piece that "39 [MPPs] would be appointed from party lists" under Mixed Member Proportional. This is factually incorrect as the 39 province-wide members will be elected by the public when they cast their ballots for political parties. Voters casting ballots for a party under the new system will know who the province-wide candidates are and how each party nominated their lists (Elections Ontario will publish this information widely, as per the new proposal.)

There is no mention in the Citizens' Assembly proposal for these nominees to be appointed by their parties. In other jurisdictions that have a Mixed Member Proportional system, political parties hold regional conventions to elect their list nominees.

To refer to province-wide members simply as "appointed" is simply wrong.

Those wishing to send a note to the reporter or the Toronto Star urging them to stop misreporting details of the proposed new system are encouraged to do so.

The London Free Press also has a great story today, "Referendum stressed". Unlike the Toronto Star, it contains no factual errors. Happy reading.

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