Vote Green. Pass It On.


Critical information on the referendum from voteformmp.ca

Posted in MMP Referendum by rkorus on September 21, 2007


Help to Make History Happen

The Most Important Political Event in my Lifetime

By Jim Harris, Former Leader, Green Party of Canada

Historic Referendum on October 10

In Ontario we have once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the way we elect our politicians. On October 10 when every Ontario voter cast their ballot in the provincial election they will also get to vote in a referendum to change our electoral system. This is the only time since confederation in 1867 that all Ontario voters have had the opportunity to change our voting system.

Winning this referendum will create a cascading drive across Canadian provinces for democratic reform. Having the largest Canadian province adopt a fair electoral system will do more for democratic reform than anything else in Canada’s history (with the exception of women being granted the right to vote in 1917).

The campaign desperately needs your help. We need your financial help. Donating to the Vote for MMP campaign will ensure all future Green Party donations have an even greater impact! To donate go to www.voteformmp.ca/fair_for_all.

Individuals outside Ontario can donate!

Imagine a day when every electoral system in Canada is fair for Green Party voters – so that when the Green Party gets 10% wins of the votes it gets 10% of the seats in the legislature!

All we’re asking for is $10.10 – because the referendum is on October 10 – the 10th day of the 10th month. $10.10. Ten ten to change the world. Ten ten to bring a better democracy to Ontario – the largest province in Canada and begin the cascading effect of democratic reform all across Canada. Ten ten just for fun. Ten ten because your pissed of at politicians. Ten ten for your kids. Your grandkids. $10.10 – to change the world. Literally.

My donation of $10.10 – isn’t going to change anything – but if we all close our eyes –and we all just believe that it will happen – and we all do it – then we will change the world. There are 80,000 people on this GPC list. If all of us just donate $10.10 it would make a huge difference. To donate go to www.voteformmp.ca/fair_for_all.

If we had MMP the old-line political parties would not be able to get away with doing nothing about the threat of climate change. It’s because we have an unresponsive, uncompetitive electoral system that we don’t have most vigorous public policy discussion on this issue. With climate change threatening the future of the planet, winning this referendum is all the more urgent.

How to Donate

1) Go to www.voteformmp.ca/fair_for_all – and donate by Visa, Mastercard or AMEX;

or

2) Mail a cheque made out to Vote for MMP to:

The Vote for MMP
26 Maryland Blvd
Toronto, Ontario M4C 5C9

The “Vote for MMP” is not a political party and so has different rules for donations.

Individuals, corporations and trade unions can also make donations – and there are no limits on the amount that can be donated.

Individuals, corporations and trade unions outside Ontario can only donate to the admin budget for this campaign.

Individuals, corporations and trade unions inside Ontario can donate to support either the admin of this campaign or the advertising. All advertising donations of $100 or more will be published by Elections Ontario.

For more Information

Go to www.greenparty.ca/en/node/2464 or you can listen to a GPRadio interview on MMP at www.greenerpolitics.com/2007/08/02/gp-radio-july-31/

MMP System Used Around the World

The Mixed Member Proportional system being proposed in Ontario is the same system that is used in Germany that saw the initial success of the Green Party in the late 1970s. Winning this referendum in Ontario will help win the BC STV referendum that will be re-voted in 2009.

Benefits of the MMP System

  • Better geographic representation
  • Fairer Elections
  • Better government
  • More Accountable government
  • Stronger representation
  • More women in the legislature
  • Recommended by 92% of the Citizens Assembly members in Ontario
  • A system devised by average people not political insiders
  • Building support across Canada with this campaign which will be needed for electoral reform referendums in other provinces in the future.

Additional Ways You can Help

Are you upset by the way politics works? Or rather how it doesn’t work? Then take action! Get involved. Volunteer. Canvass. Join. Blog. Email friends. Come to Toronto to help with the central campaign.

  • Pledge to support MMP www.voteformmp.ca/pledge
  • Volunteer www.voteformmp.ca/volunteer
  • Sign up for the newsletter www.voteformmp.ca
  • Move to Toronto to volunteer. A number of people have moved to Toronto to work on this campaign. If you’d like to we’ll find you a place to stay in Toronto. Come live in Toronto for the final exciting 28 days of the campaign.

Background

Average Citizens Rejected Current Voting System

The Ontario Government appointed a Citizens Assembly (www.citizensassembly.gov.on.ca/en/default.asp) – a group of average Ontario voters who were randomly selected representing every riding in Ontario. These citizens weren’t political party insiders – they were average citizens. After studying all the problems with the current voting system these average citizens overwhelmingly rejected the first-past-the-post system. These average citizens were upset with politicians and political parties. They were upset at distorted election results. They were upset at the strategic voting.

After studying electoral systems for seven months, the Citizens Assembly members voted 92% to recommend to their fellow Ontario citizens to vote for a mixed Member Proportional (MMP) electoral system. The Citizens Assembly members wanted fair elections.

A Broken Voting System

Imagine five parties running in all provincial ridings – and all five parties get 20% of the vote. But one party gets one more vote in all ridings that party would have 100% of the seats at Queen’s Park with only 20% of the vote. Would you call that fair?

Let’s look at the other four parties that collectively won 80% of the vote but didn’t win a single seat. Would you call that fair? I have yet to meet any Canadian who does.

How the system will work in Ontario: Imagine the Green Party wins 12% of the vote across Ontario but no one directly in one of the 90 ridings. Twelve per cent of the final legislature (129 seats) would be 15 – so the party would elect the first 15 MPPs from its’ list. These 15 list MPPs would divide up the province’s 90 local ridings so that each MPP represented six ridings. Local residents that needed help could then approach either their local MPP or the list MPP representing their riding. So the MMP system mean that politicians will be more responsive to local constituents concerns and problems. Local electors will have more choice.

Good News/Bad News

The polls that I’ve seen so far have good news and bad news. The good news is that the MMP referendum has the support to pass – but the bad news is that support and the opposition is very shallow – in other words, people don’t know much about the issue. And there are a high number of undecided voters.

The old-line traditional parties, not wanting so see electoral reform have set the threshold for the referendum to “pass” at 60% plus getting 50% in at least 60% of the ridings in Ontario. Why Quebec can separate at 50% + one vote but to change the electoral system requires a higher threshold is beyond me.

Good News

The good news is that in British Columbia in the referendum in 2005 the referendum won 57.6% of the vote across BC and a staggering 77 out of the 79 ridings in BC passed it by more than 50% — the only two ridings that didn’t had 49.75% and 49.25% support – so the desire for change was overwhelming in BC. But according to the politicians it didn’t pass because it didn’t achieve 60%.

Here’s the great news: the more people learn about this MMP more they like it.. So the more literature we are able to get to every household the more likely this referendum will be to pass.

But this is why it is all the more important to have your support we need your financial support to get info out about this referendum.

Jim Harris
Former Leader, Green Party of Canada
Ancien chef du Parti vert du Canada

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