Thursday, August 30, 2007

Prediction: Greens win more votes than other parties; Liberals win a majority of seats

I went the UBC Sauder School of Business Election Stock Market website for Ontario's 2007 election. I made a fancy prediction that 29.2% of Liberal, PC, and NDP voters in the last election decided to vote for the Green Party this time. I also assumed that all "Other" voters became Green supporters. Here's a futuristic newspaper report about a provincial election:

Last night in the province of Antiquatia, the Green Party received more popular support than any other party with 32.6% of the vote. The Liberal were very close to the Greens with 32.5%. The Green Party received 30 out of 107 seats (28.0%). The Liberal Party didn't perform as well as it only received 54 seats (50.5%)--a bare majority. This seat distribution occurred because the voters in Antiquatia massively supported changing to a new voting system called First-Past-the-Post in a referendum held four years ago. Forty percent of the voters approved First-Past-the-Post over the 60% who opposed.

What have these opponents of MMP ever proposed to improve democracy in Canada?

Here's a list of names from the NO MMP website of people opposing the Mixed Member Proportional voting system: Diane Marleau, Charles Harnick, Dwight Duncan, George W. Taylor, Bob Delaney, Tim Hudak, Mike Crawley, Senator David Smith, Doug Lewis, Ron Atkey, Gordon Walker, Scott Reid, David Fleet, John L. Parker, Allan Cutler, Sam Wakim, Joe Hueglin, Aideen Nicholson, Larry McCormick, and Brent Cameron. Most of these people are former MPs and MPPs who never offered any suggestions for improving democracy for Canadian citizens by changing the way we vote. If they do not like province-wide MMP, how about supporting regional MMP, STV, regional lists, open lists, or even parallel voting? These opponents of MMP support the status-quo antiquated First-Past-the-Post voting system in perpetuity. These mostly Liberal and Conservative supporters are not afraid of the NDP or Green Party having more power; they are afraid of the voters having more power by letting them have greater choices when voting. I do not want to have greater choice so I can just choose the NDP or Green Party; I want greater choice so I can choose among the Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, Green Party, and others. I want greater choice so I can choose the best local candidate irrespective of which party he or she may belong.

To the voters of Ontario,

The opponents of MMP are afraid of you. Don't be afraid of the opponents. Support MMP in the October 10th referendum.

The 3% Threshold

"Fringe parties who have trouble electing a single candidate will be given not one but four seats for hitting the 3% threshold of the popular vote count" - Robert White, Kitchener, ON (NO MMP website)

I like Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting because if 43% of the voters support a party, then that party deserves 43% of the seats. If 23% of the voters support another party, then that party deserves 23% of the seats. If 3% of the voters support a different party, then that party (and their voters) deserves 3% of the seats.

I may not like some of my opponents politically, even if they only represent three percent of the population. I want them to have fair representation in the legislature for the following reason: I want to hear from my opponents as much as I want my supporters to hear from me. Someday, my opponents may become my supporters.

I want fair representation in the Ontario legislature. I want MMP.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why one MPP is not enough

I sent an email to my federal member of parliament. I did provide my name, city, and riding. This is the response I received from her office:

In order to serve the constituents of Don Valley East better Ms. Ratansi requires your postal address when you e-mail her. Due to the high volume of e-mails received non-constituents may not receive a reply.

Frozan Shaikhmiri
Constituency Assistant Office of Yasmin Ratansi, M.P., Don Valley East
Chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women
220 Duncan Mill Road Suite 211
Phone: (416) 443-0623
Fax: (416) 443-9819

I understand that a politician would like to correspond to real people living in real places. I didn't like the fact that her office assistant replied that people who provide full addresses may not receive a reply if they do not live in the constituency.

I know the above is a federal example. Voters use the same voting system to elect representatives to the federal House of Commons and Ontario Legislative Assembly. We need the Mixed Member Proportional voting system in Ontario because voters deserve greater choice and better representation. If a local constituency representative will not correspond with those of us not living within his/her constituency, then we need province-wide representatives who will.

Friday, August 24, 2007

MMP campaign has Greek, Serbian, and Tamil translations

Send me information about candidates supporting, opposing, or neutral on MMP.

It's great to see the Vote for MMP campaign having translations available in Greek, Serbian, and Tamil (sides 1 and 2) along with English and French. I'm sure the campaign organizers would love to hear from MMP supporters who can translate MMP into other languages. I did take the liberty of getting a translation done in Cockney.

MMP explained in Cockney:

It’s time ter make democracy better.

Vote for MMP

October 10ff referendum

Have yer ever voted in a ridin' that didn’t elect a candidate 'oo represented yor views?

Have yer ever voted for a knees-up yer didn’t like just ter put the mockers on a knees-up that yer liked even less?

Have yer ever avoided votin' for the Mae West local candidate because yer couldn’t support that candidate’s knees-up?

If yer said yes ter any of these questions, yor not alone. The good news is that on October 10, Ontarians will 'ave a chance ter vote in a referendum where we can choose a new provincial votin' system that will eliminate these problems.

Fairer Results

Currently, Ontario’s votin' system almost always gives one knees-up far more power than it deserves. For example, wile the winnin' knees-up might cop only 40 per cent of the votes, right, it receives 60 per cent of the bleedin' seats. This gives its leaders 100 per cent of the bleedin' power.

Because of this and uvver shortcomings of us system, right, the Ontario government recently aufforized the bloody creation of a Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform ter make a recommendation on the bloody Mae West votin' system for Ontario. After seven monffs of study, right, the Assembly, a randomly chosen array of Ontarians, right, recommended that Ontario adopt a Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) votin' system.

MMP blends the chuffin' Mae West aspects of us current system wiv features from proportional representation systems used in most Western democracies. MMP means more choice, fairer results, right, and stronger representation.

More Choice—one ballot, right, two votes

The new system will be simple and sensible. Yer will still vote for yor preferred local candidate just as yer do now. In addition, yer will also cast a second vote for yor preferred political knees-up, init? The chuffin' share of these votes that each knees-up wins will determine its overall share of seats in the legislature.

If after the bleedin' 90 ridin' seats are filled, a knees-up 'as fewer seats than its portion of the chuffin' knees-up vote, right, that knees-up wins some of the bloody additional 39 provincial (or at-large) seats ter ensure it 'as its fair share of the total seats. These at-large representatives are elected from provincial lists of candidates nominated by each knees-up in advance of the chuffin' election. Voters can judge these at-large candidates, as well as local candidates, right, and vote accordingly.

Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) will give Ontario voters the Mae West of boff worlds. Yer cop strong local representation and fair results, wiv knees-ups gainin' no more, and no fewer seats than they right deserve.

Here’s an example: Knees-up X gets 30 per cent of the knees-up votes, but wen ridin' results are tallied, right, they 'ave a share of seats that is 10 short of the 30 per cent of the seats they deserve. In that case, right, Knees-up X will also gain 10 at-large seats, wiv their top ten at-large candidates winnin' them seats.

Stronger Representation, because evry vote counts

Wiv MMP, boff rural and urban voters gain stronger representation. In addition ter ridin' representatives, voters can turn ter ffeir new at-large representatives for assistance. Most at-large representatives will want ter help wiv constituency work, particularly in areas where their knees-up won no ridin' seats.

MMP will also encourage more diversity in legislatures. Most knees-ups will find they win more votes if their at-large candidates list includes a good mix of bints and minorities, or them 'oo are less often elected in ridings.

Finally, right, because knees-ups will be required ter work wiv one anuvver in coalitions ter pass legislation, the system will reward cooperation, compromise and accountability in place of partisan rigidity, right, trivial bickerin' and narrow finkin'.

“The bleedin' ffree of us reflect ffree competin', democratic, right, partisan traditions in Ontario. We differ on many matters of public policy. We strongly unite, however, in us commitment ter an electoral system that is democratic in more than name. The Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform produced an imaginative and practical proposal that will give us more choice, right, fairer results and stronger representation, init? We urge all Ontarians ter come togeffer and vote for MMP in the October 10ff referendum.”

Carolyn Bennett, MP, Liberal Knees-up
Ed Broadbent, former NDP leader
Senator 'ugh Segal, right, Conservative Knees-up

Vote for MMP on October 10ff

By votin' for MMP in the bloody October 10 referendum yer can make the political system better, more accountable and fairer.

Vote for MMP

Support Us Campaign! Blimey!

Note: knees-up = party. Who says that my translation is perfect?

The Dialectizer

When in Prague,...

...go to the Museum of Torture Instruments.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Let us pray to the Almighty

I took these photographs in Zilina (pronounced zhee-lee-na), Slovakia. I'm not sure if I want to believe what this dude appears to be worshipping.

"I want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony."

Let us pray for MMP

Please comment if you know the position of any candidate with regards to MMP. I want to complete this chart.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Response to Getting it Right: Cherniak on FPTP - defending an untenable position

Here's a comment I left on the blog Getting it Right: Cherniak on FPTP - defending an untenable position:

Gooie middag,

I learned that from taking Dutch 101 at the University of Waterloo. The translation means "G'day, mate!"

Two websites I read almost every day are The Blogging Tories and The Progressive Bloggers. I generally find that people who get posted on the Blogging Tories tend to use a lot of nasty name calling when they criticize the positions of others. Progressive Bloggers use more arguments and less name calling than the Blogging Tories. It's a shame that the Blogging Tories need to use name-calling and blame the mainstream media, particularly the CBC and BBC, for all the problems in the world. If they used rational arguments, perhaps they would be taken more seriously.

Years ago, I used to be a member of Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative Party. I found that my voice within the party didn't count for anything. I could not participate in policy conventions. I could not pick the leader of the party. I had no voice. Once Brian Mulroney won his majority, The members of the party didn't matter to him when he as prime minister presented government policy. Mulroney won a second majority with a minority of the votes. My opinions didn't matter to him. It's wasn't that I expected him personally call me about Middle East foreign policy. There was just no forum for me to present my views to the government. My MP was a Liberal so his voice didn't count for anything.

Cherniak and his fellow Conservatives and Liberals are not stupid about MMP or first-past-the-post. They are highly intelligent. They don't say why they support FPTP; they use arguments to oppose MMP, STV, and any other proportional voting system. They do not care about the voters--only their own parties. For example, they will say that northern Ontario will lose representation and under MMP [and n]ortherners will lose their voices. What they don't mention that under the Mike Harris Conservative rule, the only northern Conservative MPP was Mike Harris himself. North Bay was represented in government, but not Kenora, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, and Sudbury. The people living in those cities were effectively shut out of government.

I am not supporting MMP because I want the NDP and Green Party to share power with each other or with the other parties in the Ontario legislature. I support MMP because I want my voice to be heard through legislators who will represent me. Those legislators can be Conservative, Liberal, NDP, Green, or from another party. I have voted for most of the parties listed above one time or another and will continue to do so.

The biggest reason why the opponents of MMP do not want people to vote for it in the Ontario referendum is because the opponents are afraid of the people getting more power to determine how we shape the nature of our legislature.

Dank je/Thanks

Thursday, August 16, 2007

To Grade-Five Social Studies Teachers in Ontario

Pick eight boys and two girls to stand at the front of the classroom.

Ask your students how fair your picks are.

These eight boys and two girls represent the ratio of men and women that were elected to the Ontario legislature in 2003 under the First-Past-the-Post voting system.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mark Greenan's comments

I read Mark Greenan's comments about PC incumbent Bill Murdoch (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound) supporting electoral reform but preferring first parliamentary reform such as allowing more free votes. Opponents of MMP use the argument of preferring parliamentary reform over electoral reform. You can read Mark's comments here.

I am updating my chart considering Mark's comments. Thanks also to Raymond Lorenz for posting a comment on my blog about the same issue.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Transpostion of votes

Here is a map I found of southern Ontario. It shows the transpostional party distribution of seats using the 2003 provincial election results and the 2007 107 seat legislature. Sorry, northern Ontario is not shown.
Source: unknown.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


This is my second post. It's great that all the major candidates in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound are supporting MMP!

On my MMP chart, the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound candidates are all yeses. I also put a yes beside every Green Party candidate even though not all the ridings have nominate Green candidates. If any Green candidate does oppose MMP or if there is a riding without a Green candidate, I will change the chart.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Welcome to my first weblog

This is my first weblog ever.

I am supporting the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system in the October 10th referendum in Ontario.

I will be adding features as to this site once in a while. Feel free to offer constructive comments about voting systems. These can be in favour or opposed to MMP or any other system. Please be polite by not using profanity or anything that my be considered as libelous. Feel free to offer comments about my blogsite.

Here is a chart that I am starting to design on which candidates are supporting, opposed, or neutral in MMP referendum campaign. If you see a question mark beside yes, no, or neutral, that means that the candidate has made statements about MMP or proportional representation in general but has not categorically stated where he/she stands on MMP for Ontario. If you know where the candidates stand, let me know.