McGuinty Liberals biased against change to electoral system | National Union of Public and General Employees

McGuinty Liberals biased against change to electoral system

OPSEU says 60% threshold for approval is too high


Toronto (26 Oct. 2006) - The Ontario Liberal government of Premier Dalton McGuinty is sabotaging electoral reform by setting a 60% threshold for approval of any alternate system in a future referendum, says the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE).

“By proposing a 60% vote threshold to change the province’s electoral system, Dalton McGuinty is taking a stand in favour of the status quo,” says OPSEU president Leah Casselman.

“Democratic rule means rule by the majority, and the majority means 50% plus one. That’s the only acceptable threshold.”

This week the Ontario Liberals tabled a new law requiring that 60% of all voters endorse any changes to the way the legislature members are elected before the current system is changed.

MPPs are now elected the same way in all Canadian federal and provincial elections. The candidate with the most votes wins no matter how many ways the vote is split and how small a plurality the first place candidate might be.

A Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform is to report to the government by May 15, 2007. Many are expecting the assembly to propose a new voting system. The McGuinty Liberals say any new proposal would be voted on in a referendum on Election Day, which by law will take place on Oct. 4, 2007.

“In the last election, the McGuinty Liberals won 46% of the popular vote,” Casselman said. “Under our skewed system, they were rewarded with 70% of the seats in the legislature... We don’t accept this, and we will fight it.” NUPGE

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