Perspectives from a Mediator/Arbitrator

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Election and Proportional Representation

The Ontario Provincial Election is now underway. The election of a government is very important. However, perhaps even more important is a referendum on proportional representation. I have to admit that I have always been a fan of the concept of proportional representation but I am a bit worried about the implications of this particular proposal. Here are some of my thoughts - happy to discuss:
1. We will have bigger ridings which will mean that MPPs will have more constituents and as a result be more remote from their constituents.
2. We will have a number of MPPs who will have no constituents - is that not a significant part of the job. To whom will they be responsible? What if they want to "cross the floor"
3. Will we have permanent minority governments? Will minor parties be too powerful - what would it mean if a party with 3.5% of the vote held the balance of power - is that sensible? appropriate? desirable?

What do you think? I am most concerned that there seems to be very little discussion and the vast majority of people do not appear to be at all informed about this issue.


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