OPSEU urges Ontario to adopt proportional representation

Time to get rid of the traditional first-past-the-post system, says Leah Casselman


Ottawa (20 Jan. 2007) - The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) is urging the province to adopt a system of proportionate political representation rather than the traditional first-past-the-post system that has always been in effect.

Addressing the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform, OPSEU president Leah Casselman said the current system of electing provincial politicians is a " serious impediment" to citizens becoming more engaged in the political process.

"I am convinced that the way we elect MPPs must be changed. Otherwise, our electoral system will remain a roadblock to greater equality and political fairness rather than the democratic cornerstone it could be," Casselman argued.

The citizens' assembly has been holding hearings to assess the public mood of electoral reform. It will report to the government in the spring and a province-wide referendum on the issue will take place when the next provincial election is held on Oct. 4.

To change the current system, the province has announced that a so-called super majority of 60% will be required, including a majority of 50% in 64 of the province's 107 electoral constituencies. The first election in which a new system could take effect would be 2011. NUPGE

More information:
OPSEU presentation to Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform - pdf