Election Day in Ontario

It’s October 10th today, and for my fellow Ontarians that means it’s time for the provincial election.  But more importantly, today’s election also contains a second ballot which is a referendum on electoral reform.  Do we keep the current "First Past the Post" electoral system which awards seats to the winners of 117 constituencies throughout the province, or do we choose to reform our government with an electoral system called "Mixed Member Proportional" (MMP) that brings representation which more closely matches that of the voters?  Many countries around the world have already undergone their own
electoral reforms in the hopes of bringing their democracies out of the
1800s when our countries were first founded and more accurately represent the views of their people.

I honestly don’t care what you vote for, so long as you are voting for the RIGHT reasons.  There are two great sins that can be committed against democracy.  The first is to not vote at all.  To these people I have no sympathy for whatever governmentally imposed hardships come upon you.  Getting taxed to much?  Quit your bitching.  You had your chance to say something meaningful and you didn’t do it.

The second and most egregious sin, however, is to vote without any forethought, knowledge, or understanding of what you are doing.  If you are going to walk in and just vote the status quo because that’s the status quo, then i’d rather you just stay the frack at home and not bitch.  You aren’t helping matters, you are just keeping us muddling along and never progressing, growing, or developing.  That’s how governments get complacent and corrupt; voter apathy.  All you are doing is negating the vote of someone who has a legitimate voice they are trying to express.

It saddens me to see recent polls which show that some 80% of potential voters know next to nothing about this referendum.  Personally, I would love to see a system where the popular vote has some merit.  It would lead to a few less Dubya’s, and a lot more participation by the people.  I can honestly see why people don’t vote with our current system.  If I am not in favour of the leading party, well, might vote doesn’t make a difference at all because that candidate will win my riding and my candidate and party will have absolutely nothing to show for it.  To illustrate my point, if Party A won all 117 ridings by 1 vote each, they would have 117 seats which represent the voice of 50.1% of the people.  The other 49.9% of the population?  They can go screw off for the next four years because they will not be heard.

Do us all a favour and at least make an educated choice.  For or against.  Here are some nice links to get yourself up to speed.

CBC.ca Ontario Votes 2007 – Referendum
Pros and Cons of MMP (Toronto Star)
Referendum Ontario
Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform

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