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JSC Asked: Will Your Party Educate Voters About Proportional Representation?

Image credit: Fair Vote Canada at fairvote.ca

Question: Our first-past-the-post electoral system is an inaccurate representation of the will of the voters who went to the polls. For example, a government that “won” the election with 40% of the votes does not represent the fact that 60% of the voters did not want that party in power. Will your party agree to educate voters about a proportional representation system and then hold a referendum on it?

Responses:

Laura Campbell, Green Party

Laura Campbell, Green party

YES. In 2007, I volunteered in the campaign for the electoral reform referendum in Ontario. Sadly, the vast majority of voters didn’t have enough information about the systems in question, and the referendum didn’t pass. I have been a passionate advocate for electoral reform ever since.

Mixed Member Proportional Representation, a system that works well for many democracies around the world including the citizens of Germany and New Zealand, is one example of an electoral system that would best reflect the will of the people. Ontario Green most certainly, and enthusiastically support a renewed education program and referendum. When people feel their vote actually counts, we ALL win. When our parliament reflects the genuine desires of our citizens, our parties will become more accountable to us and not to special interests.

Bob Gordanier, Liberal Party

Bob Gordanier

Elections are the pillar of our democracy. Democracy is something that we must continue to strengthen in our province and around the world. That’s why I was outraged when, in 2018, Doug Ford suppressed local democracy. He cut council seats, eliminated races for Regional Chair, and when pushed back on it, he threatened to use the Notwithstanding clause to plow ahead.

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We know that the system that we have now doesn’t represent everybody equally. I am committed to changing that. As a priority, we must strengthen our civics curriculum in schools to educate young people about the democratic process – an outdated, half-semester course that we have now is not enough.

Ontario Liberals are committed to strengthening how we vote. First, we will use ranked ballots for the next provincial election and allow municipalities to use it as well. Ranked ballots will reward parties that find common ground and that speak to voters’ hopes, not their fears. Next, we’ll appoint a Citizens’ Assembly to review other potential changes to our elections, such as the voting age, voting on the weekend or expanded advanced voting. We must respect and fund local government, not try to suppress them. I support our Liberal plan to strengthen our democracy and ensure that Ontarians are better represented at the ballot box.

Sylvia Jones, Progressive Conservative Party

No response.

Tess Prendergast, New Democratic Party

Tess Prendergast, NDP party

The NDP is committed to electoral reform. We will put in place a Mixed Member Proportional Voting System Designed by an independent group of citizens, this revitalized system will be a uniquely made-in-Ontario solution to ensure that every voter’s voice is heard in the legislature, all MPPs and major political parties have a meaningful voice, regardless of which party holds power. The group will be supported by a panel of experts and all of Ontario’s major parties.

The post JSC Asked: Will Your Party Educate Voters About Proportional Representation? appeared first on Just Sayin' Caledon.

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