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Congrats to Kate Holloway

I just wanted to wish Kate Holloway well in Trinity-Spadina, where it was announced today by the Ontario Liberals she’d be a candidate for them. She is a former prominent Green Party member who resigned in 2006 to join the Liberal Party.

I met Kate at the Progressive Blogger BBQ a couple of weeks back; we had a good chat, as she’s one of the founding members of the Liberals For MMP group that are Liberals who are in support of voting for electoral reform, and I think she’ll make a fine MPP.

She’ll also, I know, continue to advocate electoral reform as the right and democratic thing to do, and she’ll continue to point out that wishing to continue an outdated electoral system that allows you to for the most part rule without check for 4 years is simply not a standard we should be following in the 21st century – The backroom big-whigs and apparatchiks in the leadership of the parties may not like the idea of having to actually, you know, compromise and act a bit more democratically and listen to other parties and people’s opinions, but when it improves our democracy, I’m not sympathetic to them.

Kate probably feels the same way, and I look forward to continue working with her to ensure we have more democracy – not only on October 11 in Ontario, but at some point in federal elections as well.

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16 comments to Congrats to Kate Holloway

  • LOL!!!! how about some seafood then??? We can talk all about the use of language and the semantics there in

  • Well.. I can disagree with you, and say that just because you have concerns doesn't make them well-founded, if we want to get into semantics here. 🙂

    Also, I wasn’t a Liberal 20 years ago either when the NDP won the Ontario election, so I have no sour grapes to get over. I was admittedly taking a jab at you. (I only became a Liberal in Dec 06 after Dion won the Convention).

    As for the steak dinner.. I dont eat steak. 😉

  • Scott…. i'm a reflexive NDPer now…. oooooohhhhhh…. I have faith in those in the electorate who take the time to educate themselves on the issues and alike. I have run for elected office Scott, and have had first-hand experience with this, so I know of what I speak.  As for an NDP fluke… you'd think that nearly 20 years would be enough time to get over bitter grapes. But of course, I guess those 3 to 4 consecutive NDP majorities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are flukes too, right???

    Anywho… to get passed the partisan shots, I am actually quite an optimistic person, but I am also a realist. I have a great amount of faith in the electorate of not only this province, but this country.  I'd love to think that the parties will totally change the way that they do things and that MMP would have this huge transformative change, but that's asking a whole lot (BTW, that steak dinner wager still stands).
    I am hopeful, but i'm not allowing my hope to blind me to the possible downsides to this idea. I have my concerns, and they are well founded. Just because you don't agree with me doesn't make them any less well-founded. We come from different places, and obviously have had much different experiences in life that help colour our views.

  • Well Cam.. it may not be a guarantee, but I am not so pessimistic as you that the parties would not pick lists that were designed to aid better representation among said group you've mentioned.  Call it (to quote Obama) "the audacity of hope". I believe that when push comes to shove, the parties will democratically pick the list members (not dissimilar to our parties nomination of candidates now) and with those concerns of better representation  in mind. Its happened elsewhere Cam.. so I dont see why you think all the parties are suddenly going to view this as plum patronage type things to get elected.

    And, I repeat again – if they DID do a cronies list.. or one that didnt have greater representation of those said groups.. they will get torn to shreds for it by the other parties and the media and I believe they will pay for it at the ballot box. I have a great deal of faith in the electorate – more so then you do, apparently (perhaps thats just a reflexive NDP'er reaction since the NDP's only won once here in Ontario 😉  – by an FPTP fluke, I might add).

    I do know this – preferential ballot certainly wouldn't help address those faults of more women/natives/cultural commnities — Fair Vote Canada has studies that show that. Mark Greenan tells me Fair Vote Canada feels so strongly against preferential ballot not being the solution to a better electoral system that they would have recommend people to vote against it if it came out the CA as the preferred choice.

    And,  I take issue with you that you're losing "regional representation" in the MMP system. You seem fixated that somehow whole swaths of the North or elsewhere arent going to be represented or under-represented, and I simply think you're wrong. Also.. I am not advocating "pure PR" either. I believe the mixed system is the best compromise possible.

  • Scott… there is nothing in MMP that will guarantee any better representation for women, First Nations or any other groups. Once again, it is all left up to the parties. Also, as a native man, I want to see more Native people in elected politics, but I am very afraid that any native or other minority elected under this system will look like a token selection because of how the process works. I think that will undercut any ability for that MPP to do their best job. At least now when we have minority candidates selected, they have been directly chosen by their riding constituents, and that individual has won their trust and vote. The same cannot be said for MMP.

    The preferential ballot would give you a better choice for each riding because it is the candidate that most of the voters agree upon that wins, and you don't loose any direct regional representation. The only way to have a truly proportional result is to scrap ridings all together and just thrown things open to a province-wide party vote, which is a truly bad thing for any under-populated region. If the pursuit of Electoral reform is to make everyone happy all the time then it will never succeed, because that is impossible. In any system, there are going to be winners and losers.

  • Preferential ballot would do nothing to aid better proportional results of the actual vote.. and you wouldn't have any better representation of women or First Nations or multicultural communities that are badly under-represented that you would be able to get by having regional or list MP's.

  • Saskboy… thanks for the consolation. There is a problem with forming a party though to take advantage of the MMP 3% threshold. The 11 Northern Ontario ridings only make up 5% of the electorate, so in order to win 1 MMP seat, they would have to win 60% of the vote in those ridings. If that party did that, they would have more than a few riding seats and wouldn't need the MMP votes.

    The ratio of urban to rural population in Ontario is very wide (something like 75% urban, 25% rural) and the rural area is so huge that even their concerns are different. I'm not saying that it couldn't nor shouldn't be done, but we don't need MMP to have that success. I think that another form of PR, like the Preferential ballot would be better. That I could get behind.

  • Cam "Congrats, you get to be treated like children in your large colony of rural and Northern Ontario."

    I have a similar concern, but I console myself with the knowledge that under MMP, it's more possible that rural voters can create a party that elects representatives, and thus change the system once again to something even better.

  • Scott…

    For starters, my apologies for the way I used “partisan”. Yes, I know that the Liberals aren’t official on any side, but the way this “Yes” “NO” side back and forth is going, it had a very partisan feel, which is why I used that language.

    I have not been able to speak with those Northern Citizen’s assembly members, but the Citizen’s assembly members that I spoke with agreed that this does take away regional representation. They basically told me that was a sacrific that they were willing to make. That’s not one that I am willing to make.

    I’m up in the North right now, and I have been talking with a lot of people about it. I’ve been asking what they know about it, and without giving my 2 cents on the issue, I have yet to meet someone up here who is in favour of MMP, and for the exact reason that I am stating. There were 7 members of that Assembly that voted No. I there a register or site somewhere that says who they are and where they are from??? Those 7 people must have had their reasons for voting against it.
    Scott, I would like to see some change, but I am not convinced that this is the way to go. But it is voted in and works out as you say it will, i’ll make a little deal with you. I’ll come down to where you are and buy you a big steak dinner (or whatever your preference is) as a bit of a wager. Deal?

    Matt… thanks for the reply, but I have to take issue with this:

    “These areas will actually benefit from the overall cultural change that MMP will bring: instead of only relying on the growing urban areas for seats for a false majority, parties will have to take into account all voters, or at least enough to get over 50% in the legislature.”

    How is it that MMP will not only rely on growing urban areas when MMP seats are decided by the entire province as a whole, therefore giving the growing urban areas more pull into which parties get these seats??? The fact is that under FPTP, yes, parties could ignore areas, but under MMP, this exact same thing would be more like to happen because you’ve taken away those regionally attached seats, and basically thrown them open to the entire province. In doing that, any clout that any small regional population had is diluted because it’s now been thrown in with the large population base of the GTA and urban Southern Ontario. Because there are no hard and firm rules on the Lists, if you want to win those MMP seats, you’re going to bring in candidates on those lists who are going to speak to the issues of the greater number of voters, which are in that highly populated area. That means those other rural and Northern areas loose out in representation. MMP will be more dependent on growing urban areas than FPTP because in opening up those seats province wide, the votes (and more than likely, seats) will go to those areas that have the larger, growing populations. While FPTP is flawed, it does guarantee regional representation. If this MMP system has made to do that (attaching and dividing the MMP seats up by region) then I would be able to support it easily.

  • Matt

    Cam, I for one don't think that Northern Ontario or rural Ontario will be hurt by MMP at all.  These areas will actually benefit from the overall cultural change that MMP will bring: instead of only relying on the growing urban areas for seats for a false majority, parties will have to take into account all voters, or at least enough to get over 50% in the legislature.  This will make all parties more responsive to regions they currently don't have much representation from.  The Tories won two majorities in Ontario 1995 and 1999 with almost no representation from Northern Ontario (only Harris and Eves from the southern most part of Northern Ontario.)  Majorities can be easily achieved now without any significant support from Northern Ontario or rural Ontario.  Under MMP, these false majorities would be history and the parties more accountable to the legislature and the province as a whole.  As well, parties would hopefully ensure that their lists are representative of the whole province, not just one region.  The order of the lists would likely rotate between regions, hopefully starting in areas the party is trying to build support.   FPTP exacerbates regional alienation – Ontario majorities are easy to win without any support from Northern Ontario.  Federally, majorities are easy to win with almost no support in Western Canada.  A system that did away with false majorities by definition makes the government more responsive to all regions and all voters.  

  • Heh. Cam… I'm just responding to your charge that I was being partisan about touting electoral reform by saying its hardly a partisan issue, so in that sense I agree with you when you say it isnt a partisan issue for you. For you to accuse me of being “partisan” would imply the Liberal Party of Ontario wholeheartedly supports the MMP proposal – and that certainly isnt the case – I’d not be too much out on a limb if I were to say a lot hope it fails. If you want to say it shows my obvious distaste for the current FPTP system, then that’s fair game.

    I think, as I said at your blog.. you are way over-blowing the MMP issue with the north. The Citizen's Assembly members from the north didn't seem to have an issue with any northern area potential problems that you list – I have to ask if you  have actually listened to or seen  any of their opinions on the matter?

  • Scott…. I may be a New Democrat, but this is not a partisan issue for me. This is about my home and my region. This is bigger than my party, and while I know my party would stand to gain something from MMP, my region and home would loose bigtime. This is why this is such a dilema, as I have been saying in my blog.  I'm not being over-sensitive. I'm trying to protect what little representation my region has.

    And Jen… "she is running to represent constituents in Toronto, so why the opinions of rural areas are pertinent at this point is unclear." I now live in Toronto for starters, but lets put that aside for a second. It can't be said on one hand that they represent all of Ontario, but then only say that only the views on Torontoians matter. Everyone's opinions are always pertinent at all times. This is exactly the attitude that is prevails in Toronto that makes people like myself so damn concerned about what MMP would do to the North. Why should I have any confidence in representation from a region that doesn't believe that opinions of rural Ontarians is not pertinent.  Also, to flip this around (God, please forgive me for what I am about to say), why are the views of Toronto pertinent when it comes to rural candidates like Randy Hillier???

  • Jen

    I think Kate will beat Marchese.  I also think Kate's activism and connections to green enterprise will benefit ALL Ontarians, though, it must be said that she is running to represent constituents in Toronto, so why the opinions of rural areas are pertinent at this point is unclear.

  • Hey Cam, electoral reform isn't a "partisan thing".  It stretches across parties

    And I was pretty general in my description of electoral reform, and I think its generally acknowledged that a lot of the mainstream party high-ups don't want this to pass – because the thought of compromising with someone – like your NDP for example – they don't like.

     Methinks you're being a tad over-sensitive.

  • Scott…. "She’ll also, I know, continue to advocate electoral reform as the right and democratic thing to do, and she’ll continue to point out that wishing to continue an outdated electoral system that allows you to for the most part rule without check for 4 years is simply not a standard we should be following in the 21st century"

    You lay into Cherniak for being soooo blindly partisan on things, but this is just as bad. This is the "right and democractic thing to do"…. that is if you live in a highly populated portion of the province. Of course, if you live in Rural and Northern areas, well, you will continue to told by politicians from those highly populated areas what is right for you under this system, except there will be more of them. Congrats, you get to be treated like children in your large colony of rural and Northern Ontario.

    I met Kate too and the barbeque. She's a nice person and she'll make a great runner up to Rosario Marchese in Trinity-Spadina.

  • steve sorge

    Kate's a good egg.  She does more volunteer work than any one person should.

    Good luck to her.

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