Electoral Reform Report Slammed
MMP proposal a hollow-point bullet aimed directly
May 15, 2007 - Freedom Party of Ontario leader Paul McKeever is condemning the recommendations set out in a report by Ontario's Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform. The report, titled "One Ballot, Two Votes: A New Way to Vote in Ontario" was released earlier today.
"The proposal that Ontario adopt a Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP) system is a hollow-point bullet aimed directly at the heart of the Canadian values we hold so dearly" says McKeever.
"The rights and freedoms of every individual are so much a protected part of the Canadian identity that we have enshrined them in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter wisely prevents governments from bowing to the whims of the majority when that majority calls upon elected representatives to violate the lives or liberty of individuals in the minority. Our current, Single Member Plurality (SMP) system performs a similar function. Under the SMP, a party can win a majority of seats without having the support of a majority of all voters. In that way, the SMP makes it politically feasible for a governing party to say 'no' to the majority on the few occasions where the majority demands that government violate the lives or liberties of individuals who are in the minority.
"The MMP is designed for the exact opposite purpose. It is designed specifically to make it political suicide for a government to say 'no' to the majority. Under the MMP, we will have that most terrible of all styles of governance: unbridled majority rule. No matter how misguided or vile may be the whims of the majority may be at a given point in time, the MMP will make it an electoral imperative for parties in government always to say 'yes' to the majority. The MMP is a system that will be favoured only by those who ultimately agree that the government should force Stockwell Day to change his name to Doris if the majority whim it.
"We must not be so ignorant of history as to assume that majorities never ask their government to harm individuals in the most vile ways. In this age of heightened fears of terrorism, should we really be surprised if the majority suddenly demands that some individuals be forced to wear badges on their clothing to identify their religious affiliation? In this age of increasingly rationed health care, should we really be surprised if the majority suddenly calls upon the government to consider race, sex, or age when determining the allocation of tax-funded medical services? We must not adopt an electoral system that would deny governments the political feasibility of rejecting such disgraceful abominations.
"The Charter, alone, does not suffice. Should individuals really be forced to endure a decade of oppression, at the hands of the majority, while waiting for the law to be struck down on Charter grounds? Should the only avenue for freedom be tremendously expensive proceedings in our courts? Absolutely not.
"It should not be surprising that the Assembly has recommended a yes/no referendum question that asks whether Ontario should adopt the MMP recommended by the Assembly. Their proposal is for a leading question; one designed to improve the chances that the MMP will be adopted. If the proponents of this oppressive electoral system believe it to be defensible, they should try to defend it rather than trying to win by trickery. Forget yes/no questions. Let the voting public be asked which system they want: SMP or MMP. And, for the good of Canada, may the better part of every Ontarian's conscience prevail.
This media release distributed to all major news media and to Ontario's MPPs.
Freedom Party of Ontario