Tuesday, 31 July 2007

MMP and Its Critics

Here is a good article in the Orillia Packet & Times by Steve Withers. He talks about the critics and how they don't back up their arguments. And he also puts in his two cents worth on MMP:

In my personal experience, MMP is a much better system for voters. MMP offers voters two votes: one local and one for a party province-wide. That second vote is a very powerful one, holding parties to account across the entire province, not just locally. The party bosses of the present system are terrified voters will choose MMP and be able to hold them and their party collectively to account everywhere through that province-wide vote.

The present voting system gives us one vote for one candidate in one riding. That vote only counts if your preferred candidate wins, otherwise, you get nothing. Your one vote does not count at all in any of other 102 ridings in Ontario. Your one vote, at best, holds less than one per cent of all MPPs to account and only indirectly affects the fortunes of their party. Very few voters indeed get to vote directly for the party leaders. Under MMP, your party vote is a direct vote of support for the party you favour. It counts no matter who won your local race. Its effect is for all of Ontario, not just your local riding. How anyone can say this significant enhancement of voter power is less democratic defies rational understanding.

Here's a video explaining MMP.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

And They're Just Figuring This Out Now?

There was an article today in the Toronto Star that really steamed me. It stated: "A new study suggests that involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan might be doomed from the outset. Does this sound familiar? "A war with no visible payoff against an opponent who poses no direct threat will come under increasing criticism as battle casualties rise and economic costs escalate .... "

No shit, Sherlock.

It would be nice if the Canadian government used some brain cells instead of just following the mistaken plans of the Bush administration. And, it would have been nice if the Canadian main stream media had of used their braincells too when Paul Martin's government first committed our troops to making war on people in Afghanistan for no good reason.

Support our troops - bring them home.

We are a nation of peacemakers and peace-keepers, not warmongers.

More on this topic.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Proportional Representation in Ontario

Have you ever

- voted in a riding that didn't elect a candidate who represented your views?
- voted for a party that you didn't like just to stop a party that you liked even less?
- avoided voting for the best local candidate because you couldn't support that candidate's party?

- voted for a local candidate because you supported him/her, even though you didn't support the party he/she was in?
- avoided voting because you felt your vote didn't count, or you felt that the system wasn't fair?

If you said Yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. The good news is that on October 10, Ontarians will have a chance to vote in a referendum where we can choose a new provincial voting system that will eliminate these problems.

The above (except for my additions in italics) is from a new flier from Vote for MMP. Visit it for more details.

Here is a sample ballot - showing that it is simple and easy to understand - you vote for the party and you vote for the local candidate.

Below is a chart showing how our current system results in parties getting a number of seats that don't represent the proportion of people that voted for them, and, how the new system will result in seats proportional to the votes.

Make your vote count!
On October 10, vote yes for MMP (Mixed Member Proportional).

For more information on this topic, click here for all my posts on proportional representation.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Sell-off of Another Canadian Company

The Canadian federal government is on the verge of selling off a significant portion of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. As reported in the Toronto Star "AECL has been the heart of Canada's nuclear industry for more than 50 years and its engineers are considered world class."

Now, I'm not pro-nuclear, but putting our Canadian nuclear power industry in the hands of a large American company, General Electric, that has a history of environmental hazards, war profiteering and media manipulation, is just a recipe for making Canada more un-safe when it comes to nuclear reactors and nuclear waste in Canada. Read more about GE's misdeeds here.

Although the article in the Star states that the sell-off would only be up to 49%, with the controlling 51% remaining in Canadian hands, sell-offs like this have often led, in the history of selling Canadian companies, to selling off the rest, or selling the controlling shares later on.

Currently, nuclear waste is stored underground across Canada, with much stored in Southern Ontario.

For more information on hazards of nuclear power and nuclear waste:

- Sierra Club of Canada - Nuclear Waste
- Greenpeace Canada
- Nuclear Waste Watch
- Politics'n'Poetry - Pembina Institute - Nuke No Solution