Referendum Ontario

voteMost people in Ontario who go to the polls will know who they're voting for, or at least which party they're voting for, but how many will be ready for the referendum? Are you ready for the referendum for an electoral system?

The Question
Which electoral system should Ontario use to elect members to the provincial legislature? a) The existing electoral system (First-Past-the-Post), or b) The alternative electoral system proposed by the Citizens' Assembly (Mixed Member Proportional).

What the heck is First-Past-the-Post?
It's a horse racing analogy. Basically it's winner take all and it's the system we use today after inheriting it from Mother England. We cast one vote for our MPP and whoever gets the most votes wins the seat. Then, the political party that wins the most electoral districts is asked to form a government.

What's this new Mixed Member Proportional thingy?
This one is tricky, even for a smart guy like me. You vote twice on election day, once for your MPP and once for a political party. The MPP is the "Local Member" and the other vote determines the number of "List Members" each party gets. It adds proportional representation so the winning party is the one with the largest number of seats in the legislature, including both "Local Members" and "List Members". I told you this one was trickier.

I'm not sure how I'm voting in the referendum and luckily there's a site that explains things a little better than I did. You'll find it at If you're ready for the referendum before you head to the polls, you'll feel less stupid when you're asked to choose the way we choose our whipping boys and girls.

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Comments (2 - click here to join in!)

Ajax Mike

Thanks Mike. I had no idea this was coming. :)

September 20, 2007 @ 8:14 PM

Jason Meltzer Patterson

I really don't think it is that hard to understand if you bother to read about it somewhere. In later generations, where our kids don't know how to read, that might be another story. For now, all you really need to do is read a few paragraphs and it makes perfect sense. Easier than assembling most Ikea products.

September 21, 2007 @ 4:25 PM

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