MMP in Guelph
In my last post, I indicated that the all-candidates debate in Guelph helped me narrow down my choices to two: Liberal candidate Liz Sandals and Green candidate Ben Polley. At present, my voting intentions are being influenced by two main issues: the funding of religious schools out of the public purse and the move to a mixed-member-proportional electoral system.
In both cases, the positions of the candidates are leading me to support the Green candidate. The Green party position on the schools question is to support a constitutional amendment to eliminate public funding for the Catholic school board system. To my mind, this is the best way to deal with the question of equitable treatment of religious groups raised by the UN. It is also a route that has been successfully followed in Newfoundland and Quebec. The Liberals, meanwhile, are content to simply defend the status quo, which is preferable to the Conservative approach, but somewhat cowardly in terms of showing leadership.
As for MMP, on his website Ben Polley clearly states that he favours MMP. The Greens are, understandably, fully in favour of a system that will give them some representation for the 5-10% of the vote that they attract. The Liberals are not taking a firm position, although some have adopted a favorable stance. I contacted Liz Sandals to find out her stance on the issue. Her reply was as follows:
"In 2003, the Ontario Liberal Party ran on a platform that included giving Ontarians a choice through a referendum, for the first time ever, on how people are elected in Ontario. When asked to study our electoral system, a randomly selected group of 103 Ontarians came forward with the suggestion of using the MMP system. I am not advocating for either side in this debate. We called the referendum to ask voters which system they prefer, and I will follow the direction of the voters.
That, to my mind, is not showing leadership on this issue, which I expect from a politician. I would at least like to know where their personal preference lies. This, again, is a check in the Polley column for me.
I might yet be swayed back to the Liberals before election day, but it's looking less likely.Recommend this Post