Friday, September 14, 2007

Referendum fulfils Ontario Liberal promise to put democracy in the hands of the people

To date, most Ontario Liberal candidates have decided to remain neutral on the referendum question before voters on October 10th.

Many, like Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry Liberal incumbent Jim Brownell, are saying it's not their place to tell voters one way or the other how to vote.

"I hold this vote close to my heart," says Brownell. "I think as a sitting member of the legislature, I should deliver all the information I can on this and let the constituents make up their minds."

Premier Dalton McGuinty has stated that every Liberal MPP and candidate is free to make up their own minds on the referendum and to state it publicly if they so choose. As such, several Ontario Liberal MPPs and candidates are speaking in favour of the Citizens' Assembly's recommendation.

Liberal MPPs in favour of Mixed Member Proportional include George Smitherman (Toronto Centre), Michael Bryant (St. Paul's) and John Gerretsen (Kingston & The Islands). Tony Ruprecht, Liberal MPP for Davenport, has also told Vote For MMP he's voting for the new system. Liberal candidates also in favour of MMP include Kate Holloway (Trinity-Spadina), Selwyn Hicks (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound) and Steve Fishman (Simcoe-Grey). For a full list of Liberals publicly supporting MMP, please see the list in the side bar panel below to the right.

Some Liberals like Dwight Duncan (Windsor-Tecumseh) and Bob Delaney (Mississauga-Streetsville) have publicly stated they're voting for First-Past-The-Post.

Many Liberals are still making up their minds on this issue.

For those still thinking about it, we ask that you consider reading our Questions & Answers section for more information. It answers many of the criticisms that have been directed at MMP by supporters of the status quo.

If you haven't already done so, please check out the Vote For MMP site for information on why Mixed Member Proportional would be better for Ontario.

It's now up to the voters.

Dalton McGuinty did the right thing by promising a Citizens' Assembly to examine the province's electoral system. Now voters have the opportunity to vote on the Citizen's Assembly recommendation on October 10th, fulfilling the Liberal promise to put democracy in the hands of the people.

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