In the Star yesterday there was a column by George Taylor as part of a pro-vs-con section on the Ontario referendum. Mr. Taylor, in concocting his argument put up some wild inaccuracies. How about this:
“The present system is understandable, workable, enjoys voter satisfaction and historical tradition, as well as resulting in the representation voters want.”
Really, so the 53.6% or so of Ontarians that voted for a party other than the Liberals actually wanted a Liberal majority? Over half of Ontario evidently did not want the Liberals to win, or were they just too stupid to check the right box in Mr. Taylor’s opinion. He goes on:
“Both federally and provincially, large landslides or defeats usually have meant that the voters wanted one group out or the alternative in. Brian Mulroney’s huge 1984 majority and Kim Campbell’s devastating 1993 defeat, or Trudeaumania in 1968 followed by a Liberal minority in 1972 were obviously what most voters desired. Minority governments usually mean voters are ambivalent.”
Uhhh. The voters are not the borg from Star Trek, George; they do not have a collective will. Only 45% or so were swept up with Trudeaumania and Mulroney’s monster landslide was the will of only 50% of the voters. Over half of the electorate wanted someone other than Trudeau running things. Mulroney, if his seat total had represented his support would have had maybe a razor-thin majority.
It get’s better, err, worse:
“Even the present system under which party leaders have the power to reject or appoint candidates has not managed to balance gender or diversity, so don’t expect it from MMP lists controlled by the party. Contemplate Canada’s unrepresentative, unelected Senate as an example of the impact of appointment. MMP, with 30 per cent of the Legislature selected from party lists, would diminish local democratic representation by giving control to party leaders and hacks. List candidates would owe their allegiance only to the party not to local voters.”
In other words: leaders can appoint candidates as it is, but if you vote for MMP leaders may be able to appoint candidates!!! I think you shot yourself in the foot with that one, George. He then goes in for the usual myths about shorter-duration governments et cetera. This is another shaky attempt to scare voters away from MMP.