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Liberals For (er.. 4) MMP blogsite.

Here’s a blogsite that has just started up that caught my eye:

This blog is designed to provide Ontario Liberals with information on MMP and why they should vote for it this October 10th. Any MMP supporters who are active in the Liberal party, or are party supporters, are encouraged to contact Matt Guerin: [email protected].

Liberals already mentioned as supporting the MMP electoral reform for Ontario:

  • Monique Begin, former federal Liberal cabinet minister
  • Bob Rae, former federal Liberal leadership candidate and current federal Liberal candidate in Toronto Centre
  • Carolyn Bennett, former federal Minister and MP for St. Paul’s
  • George Smitherman, Minister of Health & Long-term Care and MPP for Toronto Centre
  • John Gerretsen, Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing and MPP for Kingston & the Islands
  • Michael Bryant, Attorney General/former Minister of Democratic Renewal and MPP for St. Paul’s

Liberal Bloggers of the same:

I know the last site fairly well ;).  I also know there are others out there. John Lennard would be one, so hopefully his blogsite will be up there, as will a host of others.

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14 comments to Liberals For (er.. 4) MMP blogsite.

  • [quote comment="5587"]Don't forget UWHabs.[/quote]

    I wouldn't be so quick to put me on the "Yes" side in this debate.  I like some forms of proportional representation, and there are many that I would enthusiastically vote for, but I'm still not sold on what the citizen's assembly has put forward.  I need to sit down with the whole deal and weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

  • Matt – Whether one liked Harris or not, I do believe that his majority government was won fair and square just as McGuinty's (he got 47%) or Bob Rae (he got 37%).  As for coalitions, the problem is we don't have a political culture of stable coalitions.  In some countries like Germany where there is a culture of bipartisanship it works, but not here.  As for the popular vote problem, I agree it does cause problems, but this also ensures too that parties don't win by piling up huge majorities in a few areas, but rather ensures they have broad based support province or nation wide.  In 1996 in BC, the Liberals won the popular vote by piling up massive majorities in North Shore, Southwest part of Vancouver, Richmond, Fraser Valley, and South Surrey, while in Quebec Charest won in 1998 the popular vote by getting 0ver 70% and some cases 90% on the west part of the Montreal island.

    A better solution, which I would support is instant run off vote like they have in Australia and France.  This would mean that to win a riding you would need to get over 50% of the popular vote and if no candidate did, then the lowest one would be knocked off and their second choices re-distributed.  Had this system been used, I can assure you Chretien would have won majorities in all three elections.  With Harris it would have been close but he still probably would have narrowly made it as he would have picked up the fringe right wing parties, which were around 2% and another 3% from the NDP or Liberals is not a total stretch.

  • Some of the most progressive legislation in Canada was passed under minority governments.  Remember Pearson's from 1963 to 1968.  Medicare was passed during this time.   So I don't buy the argument that nothing can get done under minority governments.  Furthermore, MMP will produce stabile majority coalition governments more than likely.  If the government can't get together with another party to reach over 50% of the legislature, then perhaps that governent will be short-lived. 

    But for me, I'm tired of seeing parties, especially the Tories (rarely does the NDP win here in Ontario), get majorities based on like 41% of the vote.  Harris was a disaster for Ontario life and he won with only 45% of the vote both times.  Most Ontarians would be surprised how our current system distorts how they voted to produce artificial majorities.

    Furthermore, look at the wacko results FPTP regularly produces.  Quebec 1998 – the PQ wins 43% and the Libs win 44% and that translates into a majority PQ government.   Did FPTP produce a more stabile Canada that time? 

    How about BC in 1996 – the NDP wins 39% and the Libs win 42% , yet the NDP wins a majority government.   How was that fair?

    Any system such as FPTP that frequently distorts the wishes of voters should be dumped without hesitation.   MMP is simply the best alternative available. 

  • Scott – The problem is that even if the public likes minority governments, the last two have not exactly produced results.  It could be argued we would have never balanced the budget  or done many of the other tough decisions if the Liberals didn't have a majority in the 90s and likewise bilingualism, the Charter, and universal health care would have been a lot more difficult to implement without a majority.  By the same token free trade and the GST would have never been introduced in all likelihood, so I believe majorities are more effective.  They only work in some countries because parties have a long history of cooperation.  In addition, not all have been successful.  Some like Germany have worked well, but others like Italy have been a disaster.

  • Miles:
    Liberals would do well to get behind this idea. If public opinion trends are any indiation, the public doesnt mind minority governments… and they prefer cooperation and compromise to 4 years of tyranny by the majority. I say that both for the provincial referendum and for the Liberals to push for it at the federal level.

  • Mushroom,
    Thanks for the intelligence. I certainly agree with your assessment of MMPs chances in Toronto. You looking to get involved with the campaign? I'm hoping Liberals 4 MMP will be a really active group and I'm sure could use your help.

    Miles,
    The ridings will increase by about 13-20%. Small price to pay for more voter choice, fair election results and stronger representation. Also, a cursory look at the almost hundred countries that use forms of PR for their elections makes it clear that MMP produces STABLE, MAJORITY COALITION governments.

    Next red herring …

  • I plan to vote against the idea.  As good as it may sound on the surface, I am concerned it would mean smaller ridings and already many rural ridings are too large as they are.  However, more importantly it would make winning majority governments next to impossible and therefore lead to less stability in government.  It could also force parties to make deals with fringe parties.  As imperfect as the first past post system is, it at least provides stability.  This Liberal blogger will be supporting the No side.

  • mushroom

    Mark,

    Toronto-Danforth.  Some members of the Liberal executive will be opposing MMP-PR.
    I expect the Yes side to win here.  With Tabuns and Jim Harris getting the Dippers and the Greens to vote yes, I am confident of being on the winning side.
    However, the yes side needs to win ALL the GTA ridings for proportional representation to go through.  That is why we need all the help we can get.

  • Mushroom,
    What riding are you in that has No forces starting to organize? I'd love some intelligence on their activities …

  • Mushroom:

    Send an email to the guy with your blog listing and ask that you be added, as he suggests.

  • mushroom

    Aaron,

    Scott is a Liberal cadre and he is merely encouraging Libloggers to campaign for the "yes" side in the referendum.

    Since Hugh Segal and Alan Redway have both said they support MMP on the Tory side, I would not mind touching base with them.  Not your type of Conservatives, but this shows how non-partisan this referendum is.

  • What you're not getting in all this is that the "yes" side in any electoral reform debate has to be non-partisan. When a polarizer like Smitherman comes out in favour, it only serves to structure the debate along partisan lines.

    What would your reaction be if Mike Harris came out and endorsed one side or the other?

  • mushroom

    Don’t forget UWHabs.

  • mushroom

    Where is my blog listed?  Have I made my support of MMP vocal enough?
    The no side in my party executive will be starting to campaign soon.  I am urging the yes side to mobilize since we need a decisive victory for the electoral process to be changed.  Scott, if you happen to be in Toronto come September and October, we need you big time.  

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