So we go to the polls on Wednesday, this time casting two ballots instead of the usual one. I think I’ve figured out who I’m voting for in my riding, and I think I’ve also figured out how I’m voting on the MMP issue. I see the appeal of MMP, particularly for the smaller parties. For example, there is no Green Party candidate in my riding, and if I were a Green Party supporter (I’m not), then I would have no way to actually vote for the party. With MMP, I could still support that party. Similarly, say I happen to support Party X but for whatever reason I don’t like Party X’s candidate in my riding. Under an MMP system, I could vote for the candidate (not party) that I think will best serve my riding, while still supporting Party X.
The fatal flaw of MMP in my mind is that 40 of 130 MPPs (that’s over 30%) will be unelected and will represent no constituents. They are guaranteed to vote along party lines. Most MPPs will, to be sure, but there is always the chance that they will not if whatever they are voting on may be especially helpful or detrimental to their constituents. Voting along party lines is not necessarily a problem, but if there’s something to be voted on, and Joe Party Leader says “my party is against this”, he knows that those extra unelected MPPs will vote with him, so he could have 25% of the vote before anyone even considers about how the people of the province feel about it. Because there are more MPPs, it also means that the person voting on my behalf (i.e. my MPP) has less power than under the current system, in the sense that his vote will count for less. Everyone I’ve talked to on this issue (which, admittedly, isn’t many) is also voting no.
I generally don’t align myself with a particular party, mainly because I don’t trust many politicians, and the ones I have trusted in the past have come from various parties. If I found that I trusted, say, the Librerals more often than the Tories, then I might call myself a Liberal, but I’ve noticed no such pattern. In particular, I’ve found in the past that I like the federal leader of a party while not liking the provincial leader of that same party, or vice versa. I did not watch the recent debate on TV, but I’ve heard interviews with both McGuinty and Tory, and I liked what each of them had to say (though it’s probably easy to spin your agenda to sound positive when there’s nobody arguing against you). Plus, my political knowledge is minimal enough that if some political leader explained an idea to me, I wouldn’t necessarily be able to see any flaws in it anyway. Having said that, I have yet to see a John Tory ad that explains why he would be a good leader; all of his ads seem to just talk about why McGuinty is not a good leader. It’s not “Vote for us!”, it’s “Don’t vote for them!”, which implies to me that either (a) Tory isn’t confident enough in his own agenda to actually talk about it, or (b) he doesn’t think there are any really good candidates, including himself, so he considers himself the “least bad” candidate. Either way, this is hardly someone I want leading the province for the next however-many years.
As an aside, obviously a politician named “Tory” would be a Conservative. But what if he wasn’t? Would the Liberal Party elect a leader named “Tory”?
Look at this, more political commentary on my blog. Somewhere, John Wayne Gacy and Joseph Stalin are putting on parkas.