Sunday, April 08, 2007

Media and Ontario Liberals Prejudicial on Electoral Reform

A number of excellent posts detailing both the media’s distortion and attack on electoral reform in Ontario have appeared here and here.
Frankly, I'm surprised the required "supermajority" threshold of 60% hasn't been the subject of more discussion. Personally, I'm outraged that the Ontario Liberals unilaterally imposed this condition on electoral reform. It's an insult to the Citizen's Assembly, and an insult to the people of Ontario. While I commend these Liberals for running for election in 2003 on electoral reform and opening up the possibility of such change, I cannot but condemn these self-same Liberals for virtually making it impossible to pass such reform. Lately McGuinty claimed a "neutrality" on the subject wanting rather the voice of the people to be heard. He wants the people to decide but is willing to accept their decision only if extraordinary conditions are met. I sat in the gallery of the legislature and watched as McGuinty shocked everyone, even members of his own caucus (who evidently also remained unawares of this stipulation and showed their disgust by walking out), by imposing this nearly unprecedented prerequisite of a “supermajority” on any referendum on electoral reform. It’s classic run from the left govern from the right Liberal politics. It’s also a mere pretense of democracy.
From Fair Vote Canada:
Dr. Dennis Pilon, University of Victoria political scientist and FVC National Council member:
“Apart from the recent PEI and BC referendums, no voting system change decision in Canada was ever subjected to a super-majority rule. In fact, the establishment of all Canadian federal and provincial voting systems was by a simple majority vote of the designers…[and] all western countries have seen the establishment of their voting systems or any changes in their voting systems handled either through a simple majority vote of parliament or a simple majority vote in a referendum.”

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