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Ontario overwhelmingly defeats MMP; declares Liberal majority perfectly legitimate

It's over. MMP fell by a margin stronger than its passing requirement. A well-funded, well-organised referendum campaign was defeated by the bill of goods it tried to sell.

42% of Ontario said the Liberals should govern yesterday, but 63% and all but 6 ridings said that is the way it should be, including nearly all the ridings held by opposition parties.

The issue of electoral reform in Ontario is dead for the forseeable future. Long live representative democracy!

PEI and Ontario rejected MMP with almost identical margins. BC very nearly approved BC-STV. Given the right electoral system, Ontario may well vote for electoral reform. It is proportional representation that was rejected last night.

Give me a true single-winner/single-riding preferential ballot and we'll talk.

Posted at 08:01 on October 11, 2007

This entry has been archived. Comments can no longer be posted.

MMP contradictions keep adding up | elections reform | Ontario LinuxFest makes an auspicious debut

Lord Kitchener's Own writes at Thu Oct 11 11:39:22 2007...

Well, actually 22% of Ontario said the Liberals should govern yesterday. And 31% said we should keep FPTP.

48% are so disenchanted with the system that they couldn't be bothered to leave their homes (on any of the 14 days they could have voted on) or to mail in a ballot.

I agree that reform is dead for the forseeable future. I'm also afraid I'm much closer to joining the almost 4 million Ontarians who can't be bothered to care anymore. I used to think "democracy" in Ontario was so depressing I'd fight to change it. Today (and hopefully it's just today) I'm to depressed even for that.

cdlu writes at Thu Oct 11 11:45:47 2007...

By which measure just 16% said we should try MMP.

Joseph Angolano writes at Thu Oct 11 22:39:13 2007...

Ouch. It was impressive. I take some solace in knowing that MMP died last night at our hands. In all my debates, I tried to push for the noble ideals of FPTP, which our strong party system has done so much to erode. It is still hanging on by the fingernails in the UK. Wild idea: an MP in the UK can vote against the PM and still stay in caucus!

At any rate, democracy has spoken. Stop complaining about everything else is what I say to those on the Yes Side who just can't look themselves in the mirror to find the cause of their loss. Although, there are some who did concede graciously. Good on them. I would have done the same if the results were the other way.

It is time to return our democracy back to its ideals. WE had a good debate and everyone learned lots, no doubt. Democracy as a whole is better off.

shoes writes at Fri Oct 12 21:09:56 2007...

cdlu, Well done! Your reasoned analysis of MMP is part of the reason thoughful individuals voted "no" and the MMP recommendation failed.

In spite of all the "the electorate was uniformed" moaning, I accept the view that of those voting on Wed. it was an informed and thoughtful response. I heard many different reasons from thoughtful individauls as to why they were voting against MMP. I think the debate was a good one and raised awareness (at least in 52% of voters). Few folks would list 10 reasons they were voting agaist MMP but they thought about it and based their decision on the one or two arguments that resonated with them.

Clearly and and most disappointing was the turnout.

Relative to your post about wasted votes...perhaps a wasted vote is one from an uninfomed voter.

On Thursday morning I was asked by several people , who won?


Craig Hubley (openpolitics.ca/electoral+reform) writes at Sun Jan 13 15:44:34 EST 2008...

Yes, MMP is a disaster with parties above the law as we have in Canada - they can't even be forced to follow their own constitutions. I shudder to think of the bagmen, cronies, insiders, hangers-on, etc., who'd end up with seats because of some personal favour they did the leader.

Quebec is now about to vote on it also. BC will however vote on STV again and hopefully NB and NS also will vote on STV or IRV. Once one big province passes a non-MMP reform, this debate is done.

Oh, STV is actually almost as party-"proportional" as MMP. A review of the 2005 BC vote showed that the Green Party of BC with 11 per cent of the vote would have got 8 per cent of the seats with most of their key critics winning including the leader. STV does not sacrifice every other goal in order to achieve an exact party-proportionality but it is still a far more proportional system than FPTP.

Ontario voters should force the Assembly to publish every presentation it got from the public. Including the one from Dan King advocating an instant-runoff ballot with the existing districts, in part because mayors also can adopt this system (in Toronto in 2000, 23 people ran for Mayor...) and it can be imposed without much deliberation -even federally. Someone might sue to claim that they had more first-place votes and should therefore have the seat, but a judge would almost certainly rule that a fair well known IRV counting system was a fair way to decide election outcomes, if there had been legislative approval of it. District borders are far more sensitive to tinkering and they are regularly changed by approval of the legislature. So the overhead of a referendum may not be necessary just to get rid of the worst problem of FPTP: vote-splitting.

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