LIBERALS FOR MMP RELEASE PROPOSAL ON PROVINCE-WIDE CANDIDATES
Originally issued September 7, 2007
TORONTO - A grassroots group of Ontario Liberals who support the proposed Mixed Member Proportional system released today their Manifesto to other party members and the public in advance of the October 10th referendum on electoral reform.
"We're a group of ordinary Liberals who got together this summer to organize efforts to convince other Liberals and all Ontarians to support the new, Citizens' Assembly proposal before voters," says Kate Holloway, Ontario Liberal candidate in Trinity-Spadina and the official spokesperson for Liberals For MMP.
“Our current voting system frequently produces legislatures that bear little resemblance to how people actually voted. Currently, voters who don't back the winner in their constituency find their vote is wasted because it has no impact on the make-up of the legislature. Plus, in recent decades, First-Past-The-Post has handed the second place party a victory in 6 out of 10 provinces, including Ontario,” says Holloway.
The Mixed Member Proportional recommendation fixes the flaws of First-Past-The-Post, ensuring the legislature more closely resembles the way people actually voted.
Under the proposed Mixed Member Proportional system, Ontarians will continue to be represented in local constituencies by 90 representatives. Ontarians will also benefit from an additional 39 representatives elected province-wide. The Citizens' Assembly recommended leaving it up to individual parties to decide how to pick their province-wide candidates.
Should MMP pass this October, we are proposing the Ontario Liberal Party choose its province-wide candidates using the following principles:
1. That the party undertake the most democratic and transparent process possible to select its province-wide list, convening regional party conventions and/or primaries to choose nominees.
2. At least 20 out of 39 province-wide candidates should be women.
3. The list must have regional balance, alternating between Ontario's regions accordingly, starting with a nominee from Northern Ontario. The party must ensure that there is balance between rural and urban nominees on the list.
4. The party will ensure that Ontario's diversity be well-reflected, with members of minorities historically excluded from the Ontario legislature well-represented.
5. All Liberal list members will open local constituency offices in the regions they were elected to represent.
"If MMP passes the referendum next month, Liberals For MMP will lobby strongly within the Ontario Liberal Party to ensure these proposals become party policy," says Holloway. "This Manifesto is meant to continue a discussion inside and outside our party on the issue of electoral reform in advance of this October's referendum and beyond."
For more information, please contact:
Kate Holloway, Liberal candidate in Trinity-Spadina
and Liberals For MMP spokesperson