Monday was the first day of campaigning for the Ontario election that will be held on Oct. 10.
Although this have been the first day of official electioneering, the candidates have been out on the stump since Premier Dalton McGuinty sent everyone home back in May.
Without much fanfare, incumbent MPP and party leader Howard Hampton was officially nominated by the New Democrats over the weekend. His nomination came on the heels of Penny Lucas’ nomination for the Conservatives and Mike Wood representing the Liberals.
For the first time ever here, a Green Party candidate (Jojo Holiday) will be on the provincial ballot.
Besides the actual election, Ontario voters also will be making a decision on Oct. 10 about the way the government will be elected in the future. We get to choose between our present system, in which the candidate with the most votes wins, or the “Mixed Member Proportional” system.
The MMP system combines our present system of the candidate who receives the most votes wins plus adds in members for the party based on their proportion of the popular vote.
Ninety people would be elected directly, with 39 other seats at Queen’s Park being filled according to the votes each party received.
The party then with the most seats combining elected persons and appointed persons would be asked to form the government.
Each elector is being asked to vote twice—once for the candidate in their riding and once for the party.
Currently in Ontario, there are 104 elected members. If the new system is approved, the number of electoral districts would be reduced.
Overall, each party that “Lists Members” would have about the same share of seats that they received votes. Prior to the election, each political party prepares a list of candidates that they would like considered as “List Members.”
I wonder whether, under the proposed MMP system, if I would be represented. Where would those 39 political appointments come from?
Would the parties look to distribute their seats with representation from across the province or would they focus more on representation from party insiders.
Would they fill their seats by balancing their bodies with male/female representation? Would they use those seats to fill their ranks with representation from ethnic groups?
None of the parties have explained, in any detail, their views on the referendum and how they would operate in the new system. How would the “List Members” be created?
We have to ask those questions of the candidates.
In the end, under a new system, would we in Northwestern Ontario be better represented, or would the party be better represented in Toronto?
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