Walk a Kb or Two in my Moccasins- Nobody 'splained it to me like that!

Simple answers to Complex Questions and Complex Answers to Simple Questions. In real life, I'm a Greater-Toronto (Canada) Realtor with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd, Brokerage. I first joined RE/MAX in 1983 and was first Registered to Trade in Real Estate in Ontario in 1974. Formerly known as "Two-Finger Ramblings of a Forensic Acuitant turned Community Synthesizer"

Friday, September 21, 2007

My Mom asked about the 'Ontario 2007 Referendum'

this is good too-- Jack Mintz, Sept 27/07 Disproportionate Trouble for democracy

this too - Woostencroft/Yaniszewski, Sept 29/07 MMP only creates more (parties)

Oh what the heck, Coyne, Sept 29/07 , PR:Debunking the fearmongers

Dear Mother,

More closely described as a plebiscite - if the October vote for the 'NEW system' is greater than 60% of the total vote + greater than 50.1% of 60% of something else (ie the details don't matter other than to understand that it's a very improbable to reach this double majority), then (and only then) the gov't of the day is obliged to introduce legislation to enable the change to mixed(up) representation ... no guarantees it will pass the then-legislature and no guarantees it'll be proclaimed.

This is/was a sop to the "electoral reform/democratic deficit" advocates and special interests ie everybody else except the 2 existing parties that stand a possible chance of electing 50%+1 of the members to the assembly, thereby obviating the need for the Lt Gov to make a decision on the "person" the Lt Gov thinks best able to form a Cabinet and run day to day governtal affairs (ie someone who might/does/could command the support of a majority of the members of the assembly).

The proposal in front of electors on Oct 10 asks them to state a preference for:

A) the existing system called Best of the Available Bunch (BoAB) within each riding (irrespective of voter turnout & % of votes cast) Ed note. why they call it First Past The Post (FPTP) is beyond me - unless the posts are movable, kind of antithetical to concept of a post

B) the system selected by a 'random 100+ Ontarian amateurs' after they'd been coached in all the possible ways that Proportional Representation can be done or imagined.

In this particularly chosen hydrid system (ie a blend of two - like all-season auto tires- that incorporates all of the worst features of both systems, while eliminating the best features of both) the ballot holds two simultaneous voting choices- 1 for an individual and another for a party

The # of seats in the assembly are to be expanded to 129 with two types of representative sitting in those seats. The # of local ridings is to be reduced from the current 107 to 90 and 39 new constituent-less seats will be created.

Separate and apart from tallying the 90 winners and losers in each georgraphic riding (using (BoAB), the political party/2nd vote will be counted (cross province % vote tally) and the 39 no-people-to-represent seats will be filled by party chosen reps (from pre-determined lists) to "top up" the total 129 seats to match the % vote given to parties in the cross-province, 2nd ballot choice.

So is this good, bad? an improvement or not? See my bias -- proportional Representation

Total Proportional Representation is advocated by small parties (that never get seats or that never get as many seats as their total % vote count) because they benefit.(self-serving, self-interest)

BoAB is favoured by entrenched "Big Tent" parties (that get more seats that their total % vote count) (also self-serving, self-interest)

As Mr G. Gori of the Ontatio Family Coalition Party has said ~"BoAB is favoured by "big tent parties" because they have cobbled together a coalition of people, ideas, marketing, big names, tradition and a smooth-talking, pretty-faced leader/takinghead BEFORE the election is called. Their biggest argument against PR or Mixed-up PR is that it will encourage minority gov'ts and coalition governments (ie ones that are created AFTER an election)~"

Decisional questions
1) Am I happy with electing someone to office with 37-45% of the ballots cast?
(N.B. you'll still get this on the riding level)

2) Am I happy with electing a majority gov't that may or may not fulfill the promises it was elected on? (+ not being able to do anything about for 4yrs it if I'm not happy)?

3) Will changing to a party list top-up system (of assembly-persons with no geographic base of people to be accountable to) make any of this any better?

4) Am I so fed up with the way it is now, that I'll do anything to shake up the incumbents?

5) If I vote to change the system, and the double majority isn't reached will I ever want to consider electoral reform again?
6) If the vote is for change AND it meets the double hurdle, but over time the enabling legislation isn't proposed/ isn't proclaimed, what'll I do.

So there you go Momma - referendum explain-um, like-um nowhere else-um (that's latin, or french or something ... Ontario public education, you know)


PS. I've not yet decided what to do personally on this plebiscite aspect, but on the riding level I have .

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