Electoral Reform, What?

Today is the general election for Ontario as well as a referendum regarding the electoral system Ontario uses to elect members to the provincial legislature.  The current system we have is generally referred to as First-Past-the-Post (FPTP), in which the candidate with the most votes wins and will be the representative for the electoral district in the provincial legislature.  After the election, the political party that wins the most electoral districts is normally asked to form a government.  The alternatively proposed system is called Mixed Member Proportional (MMP), in which Ontarians would have two votes in future elections: one for a ‘Local Member’ and one for a political party. The provincial legislature would have 129 seats: Local Members’ would fill 90 seats while ‘List Members’ would fill 39 seats. The political party with the largest number of seats in the legislature, including ‘Local Members’ and ‘List Members’, would be asked to form a government.

I encourage everyone to vote, but to make an informed decision.  A super-majority (60%) of the vote is needed for the referendum to pass, and I fear that most people voting will defaultedly vote for the system we now have, only because they don’t understand the other option (or even the current one!)  It’s hard to believe that Elections Ontario spent millions on an advertising campaign to teach the population about the different systems.  My own mother told me she hadn’t even heard of this referendum until like a week ago, and had no idea about the reason for it.

Anyway, get out and vote in the election and the referendum, whatever your opinion may be!

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