Wednesday, September 26, 2007 calls upon John Tory to reject appointment of MMP candidates

TORONTO, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - The VoteForMMP campaign is calling upon Conservative Party Leader John Tory to clarify his approach to nominating candidates under the new system.

According to a CP wire story, Mr. Tory yesterday repeated the misleading suggestion that province-wide candidates under the new MMP electoral system would be "appointed" rather than elected. "I think the whole notion of having appointed people may be heading in the opposite direction that we should," Mr. Tory is reported to have said.

"We certainly agree with Mr. Tory that appointed candidates have no place in the province's legislature," said Rick Anderson, chair of the VoteForMMP Campaign. "No one is proposing that there be appointed candidates under MMP - unless Mr. Tory is intending that Conservative party province-wide list candidates would be selected in this undemocratic manner."

Most advanced democracies have moved toward some kind of more proportional system, as the Ontario Citizens' Assembly has recommended Ontarians adopt.

"In all countries where MMP is used, parties use democratic processes to nominate their list candidates - just as in Canada today the parties use democratic processes to nominate riding candidates," said Anderson.

"Mr. Tory's remark stands to confuse and mislead voters on the matter of whether candidates will be democratically nominated. Is he saying that the Conservative Party will not select candidates democratically? Is he accusing the other parties of this? Is he advocating that Ontario's Elections Act specify how parties select candidates, a matter heretofore left to parties in the expectation they will proceed democratically?"

About Vote for MMP: Vote for MMP is a multi-partisan citizens' campaign supporting the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system presented to Ontarians for adoption in the electoral reform referendum on October 10. MMP was proposed by the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform, an independent body of 103 randomly chosen Ontario voters. Assembly members were asked by the Ontario Legislature to (a) determine whether Ontario needs a new voting system, and (b) if so to recommend an improved system. The Assembly studied proportional electoral systems used in 81 democracies around the world, and selected MMP as the approach best-suited for Ontario. Vote for MMP is funded by donations from citizens and organizations who agree with the Citizens' Assembly recommendations, and believe it is time to strengthen democracy and modernize Ontario's voting system that gives voters more choice, fairer results and stronger representation.

For further information: Steve Withers, Media Coordinator, VoteForMMP Campaign, Tel: (519) 282-1078, e-mail:; Rick Anderson, Chair, VoteForMMP Campaign, e-mail:; Website:


James Bowie said...

I told you this would be a problem.

Matt Guerin said...

What, James, that some opponents of MMP would spread misinformation about the proposal and take advantage of public ignorance in order to try to defeat it? The strange thing about Tory is that he's expressing fears that he will appoint candidates to the list in the future. As Scott Tribe has pointed out on his blog, Tory is in a position to dispel his own fears simply by ensuring province-wide Tory candidates are chosen in a democratic and transparent way.

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