On Wednesday (October 10) you'll have a chance to mark your ballot for a new form of representation called mixed-member proportional (MMP). Lots of fallacies are circulating about the proposed system; don't get taken in. Here's the lowdown on why you should be a yes person.
MYTH MMP will lead to chaotic legislative gridlock thanks to consistently weak minority governments.
REALITY Under MMP, parties know they'll gain no more or fewer seats than deserved, so they'll need to find coalition partners and work within a culture of negotiation and compromise. Most Western democracies moved to PR in the last century.
Critics always point to Italy and Israel as examples of political chaos, but 81 nations use PR. How come naysayers don't talk about Germany, Switzerland, Sweden or the dozens of stable PR governments?
MYTH MMP will foster extremist parties whose nasty policies could be adopted by bigger parties in exchange for support.
REALITY Small parties out of step with the public's thinking will remain small and uninfluential in perpetuity.
Any major party seeking support from a tinier one by adopting an unseemly policy will be punished by voters.
MYTH The increased number of seats in the legislature from 103 to 129 will put an unnecessary burden on taxpayers.
REALITY MMP will merely restore the legislature to its size in the 1990s.
Managing taxpayer dollars isn't about the tiny portion of the budget paid to legislators, but about how the province's $89 billion is spent.
A strong opposition and more MPPs will mean more monitoring of committees.
MYTH Party appointment lists will lead to cronyism.
REALITY If the process isn't transparent, the party will face a membership rebellion.
All four major parties have made public statements that they will use democratic processes.
MYTH Our provincial government works. Why fix what isn't broken?
REALITY The current system distorts the will of the voters, produces phony majorities, fails to produce accountable governments, giving us entrenched governments or wild swings but not responsive government.
Many people feel apathetic and cynical because they believe their votes don't make a difference. Nearly 40 per cent of those eligible to vote in Ontario don't bother casting a ballot.