Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Today, Toronto Star Queens Park bureau staffer Robert Benzie is reporting Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, "is expected to announce (on Thursday) the formation of 'citizens' assemblies' to examine and recommend changes to the (province's) democratic system. Attorney-General Michael Bryant said the fairness of the current "first-past-the-post" system is the sort of issue they'll look at." Hmmm...wonder where they got that idea from?

5 Comments

Funny, because the recommendations from our Citizens Assembly will surely fail in the referendum.

Why do you think it will fail?

The referendum's success largely depends on the effectiveness of the 'yes' and 'no' camps to get out their message. So far, critics of the PR-STV system claim it's complicated, not truly proportionate, etc. If all the 'yes' side can come up with is "It's as easy as 1,2,3!", then PR-STV will fail - deservedly. The 'yes' side needs to promote PR-STV as a way to reduce the influence of political parties and excessive right-left fluctuations in the government.

The strongest argument is probably just to say "it isn't the status quo". I lean towards supporting it on that basis alone although I have problems with it. The best idea was my own, of course.

I think knowing how one's electoral system works is hugely important. People have a hard enough time already deciding between candidates that are either too similar or too different in terms of their beliefs and plans.

Telling the electorate to essentially, "trust us, the counting will work" will simply not fly. Whether it's supposedly as "easy as 123" or not, the legitimacy of the government of canada and its provinces rests on the confidence of the electorate.

How can people have confidence in any system with which they don't clearly understand how the result is determined?

On a system of 4 year terms as well, a situation of instability could be locked into existence and hold our province in legislative deadlock.

So far, this system does not seem any better. Disproportionality could also be achieved by having parties that barely anyone voted for forming the balance of power in the Legislature. Imagine, the Marijuana Party having the final say on the Province's legislative agenda.

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