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MMP getting more coverage in the press.

It’s good to see the media are putting in more coverage of the electoral referendum question. The Star has been pretty good at that of late, and today is no exception. You’ll find a Yes vs No dual column on MMP not unlike what I did with Cam over at The Great Canadian Debate website. Rosemary Speirs, former columnist for the Toronto Star, argues for the Yes side, while George Taylor responds for the No (a former Conservative MPP I believe – someone can correct me if I’m wrong).

Obviously you’ll know which column I agree with, but I think Rosemary does a better job at articulating the Yes side and why it will be of benefit to Ontarions, while Mr. Taylor ridiculously asserts that the Citizens Assembly members were all indoctrinated by disgruntled losers. Apparently, the fact that these were all ordinary citizens rather then government bureaucrats makes them more susceptible to being brainwashed, in Mr. Taylor’s view. You can also see the common refrain and common attack on MMP – the charge that party hacks and leaders will control the List MPP selection process. Rosemary did quite a good job of anticipating this, and gives the best answer on how to rebut this fear, as well as pointing out how silly the NO side is in making this claim:

This is where those little understood, much maligned “lists” come into play… The lists are public and each party will try to put its best foot forward. NDP Leader Howard Hampton has already pledged province-wide party nomination conventions to elect his “list” candidates. Premier Dalton McGuinty and Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory should now join in Hampton’s declaration that all his party’s nominations will be open and democratic. Otherwise, think what the No forces are admitting in their desperation to win! Cronyism is alive and well and could get worse?

When Liberals for MMP released its Manifesto on what we’d like to see the Liberal Party do if MMP is brought in, we basically stated we wanted to have our list nomination process done as democratically as possible. I think I’m going to go one step further and repeat Rosemary’s call to the Premier to commit to doing the same thing the Ontario NDP are doing. I’d like to see the Conservatives for MMP group do the same thing and call on John Tory to also make that committment. That commitment by those 2 leaders would nip that argument in the bud (not that I think the party hacks and leaders in control of the process charge from the No side was ever going to happen in the first place, but a public declaration would end that fear.)

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