Imagine a voting system where politicians or “party hacks” can be appointed in back rooms by other politicians and be practically guaranteed a spot in the legislature, regardless of what the voters really want.
Stop imagining. That’s the system we have now. When it comes to how parties appoint their candidates, there are almost no requirements for transparency. And, if party bosses decide theyâ€™re going to parachute a candidate into a “safe” riding, local people have nothing to say about it. Possibly even worse, at least some people will feel like they have to vote “strategically” for that candidate even if they don’t like them or object to how they were appointed, because they’re too afraid of who else might get elected.
Now, imagine a system where parties are required to disclose the process they use to nominate their candidates. A system where the make-up of their candidate list (gender balance, regional balance, ethnic diversity, etc.) as well as the democratic (or not) process they used to create it becomes an election issue.
Stop imagining. That’s just one of the advantages of MMP, the new voting system proposed by the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly. And, since voters get two votes (one for the candidate, and one for the party), they’re able to reward or punish parties and candidates accordingly. For example, if a party foolishly nominates unpopular candidates to their list, voters can punish them without needing to vote against their preferred local candidate. On the other hand, if a voter is happy with a party overall but dissatisfied with their local candidate, they can express that with their vote (by voting for the party but not the party’s local candidate). In that way, parties and candidates are even more accountable to voters.
To learn more or get involved with the campaign, go to voteformmp.ca.