If you share our belief we need more women in the Legislature, vote for electoral reform on October 10, 2007, vote for Mixed Member Proportional (MMP).
In just over a week you will be asked to make a historical decision about the future of Ontario's electoral system.
There are two choices on the ballot:
The first, our current system of "first-past-the-post" is a choice to maintain the status quo, to keep a system in which less than 40% of voters can choose who holds 100% of the power, a system in which over 80% of our MPPs are white males, a system in which your vote doesn't always count.
The second choice, for the alternative electoral system called "Mixed Member Proportional", would mean that no longer would a vote for one party count for three or four times as much as another. Mixed Member Proportional would mean that no longer would new parties with wide support be shut out, in favour of parties with a narrow regional power base - (all parties would have to win at least 3% of the vote province wide to be eligible). Mixed Member Proportional means that women, people of colour and Aboriginals would be more equally represented in the Legislature.
Under mixed-member proportional, everyone would have two votes -- one to choose a local representative, and one to choose which party should govern Ontario.
Local representatives would be chosen as they are now. However, additional members would be added to the legislature so that each party's share of the seats would be equal to its share of the province wide vote. In short, a party's strength in the legislature would be determined by nothing but the appeal of its values and ideas.
There are many inaccurate statements out there being spewed about MMP, and all can be easily disputed. All the party leaders have committed to a democratic system of electing list members. MMP will not result in a tyranny of minority, fringe parties. In fact, it will lead to all votes being counted equally, something that doesn't currently happen. Consider this: in 26 federal elections since 1921, there have been 16 majority governments elected, but only two that actually commanded a majority of the vote. These "majority" governments actually had as many as five voters in eight voting against them. Supporters of the status quo cite its tendency to produce stable majority governments - it's a falsity to consider what we have a majority government. And minority government coalitions function very well not only in other countries around the world, but historically in Canada as well. Medicare was passed by countries working together in a minority government. Cross-party cooperation will lead to policies that reflect the wishes of more Ontarians.
Germany and New Zealand both use MMP. Their parliaments typically produce between four and eight parties, none of them extremist, with two large centrist parties as anchors. The same pattern is observed in other PR countries: Ireland, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Denmark all currently have seven parties in their legislatures.
We are asking that you join us in this historic event - it could be the last time for many generations that you will be able to make this kind of impact on the way our electoral system works. On October 10th, 2007 vote Yes to Mixed Member Proportional and make your vote count.
Browse our website for more information: if you have any other questions or are looking for even more ideas on getting involved, see our contact page for how to get in touch with us.