By the People

The Toronto Star isn’t wild about reforming Ontario’s electoral system.

The best argument in favour of the status quo is that it leads to strong governments. By contrast, proportional representation is a recipe for unstable coalitions, permanent minority government and legislative chaos. For proof, one need look no further than Israel and Italy.

First of all, the system apparently favoured by the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform is mixed member proportional representation, used in countries like Germany, not Israel and Italy.

Secondly, strong governments aren’t necessarily a good thing. Mike Harris, of who I’m sure the Star is no fan, was able to implement the Common Sense Revolution with two-thirds of the seats but less than 50% of the vote.

Today, the Liberals are doing a half-decent job at running a ‘benevolent dictatorship’, which it has been said is the best form of government. But there is no metric for separating the benevolent from the malevolent; it’s all subjective. That’s why I would rather take the risk of a less effective government over an effective dictatorship.

The Citizens’ Assembly is on the right track, and I look forward to the day when seat distribution in the Legislative Assembly more closely mirrors popular support.

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