Wednesday, May 30, 2007

MMP : 3% is not Fringe

One of the arguments against implementing mixed member proportional is that traditionally "fringe parties" will receive representation in the legislature.

An individual elected under this system will either have to have:

  • Won a local riding under first past the post.
  • Been named to a a party's list. The party as a whole must garner 3% of the popular vote to have a candidate selected off the list. In this case, 3% of the vote would result in 3 seats (3% of 129 seats).

I'm assuming that opponents to MMP, and favouring FPTP (first-past-the-post), accept that a so-called fringe party candidate could conceivably win a local riding.

The notion then is that 3% of the population represents fringe voters. Using the 2006 census, the population of Ontario is 12,160,282. 3% of that number is 364,808 - or approximately 3 ridings (assuming about 100,000 people per electoral district). To equate the "legitimacy", a party would have to win likely 10 local ridings (or say about 35,000 votes in each) to attain this popular level of support. That's the current representation the NDP has in the Ontario legislature.

According to the Environics poll, the Green Party of Ontario is polling at 2% and is considered the least "fringey" of the non-traditional parties. If the Environics poll holds true, the Green Party would likely still not hold any seats as they wouldn't pass the 3% threshold.


Anonymous said...

I agree that 3% is hardly fringe.

For example shows (funny enough) that Green is the preference of only 3% of drivers, and light brown only 2%

Are these drivers considered lunatics or unimportant to Car manufacturers?

There seems to be an underestimation of the intelligence of voters and their ability to grasp the new system. At the same time the Government that funded the project will neither support the proposal or even make an effort to educate the public on what it means.

The media has already jumped on the no bandwagon but why would be expect any different from them? They have for years attempted to decide for us who was a valid candidate and who was not and now they believe they are better qualified to tell us which system is better rather than doing their job and explaining the system, it's pros and cons.

The resistance to MMP seems to be based on fear of the unknown, fear that we will become like Italy rather than like Germany or New Zeeland. The media promotes these views as part of their agenda.

The Media and their owners have their own agendas and it lies squarely in the hands of the Cons and Libs. The patronizing occasional coverage of the NDP and the stealth coverage of the Green movement shows this bias.

Don't expect fair or comprehensive coverage on this issue.

Wilf Day said...

Actually PC voters were treated more unfairly than NDP voters by First-Past-The-Post in the 2003 election.

If it had been under MMP the PCs would have elected 45 of the 129 MPPs. That's one for each pair of the new 90 ridings. Rather than see some unfortunate MPP having to serve four or five ridings, the additional MPPs would be from a list that was balanced by geography. The Scottish Conservative Party simply puts all their locally nominated candidates on the list as well, with the membership ranking their favourites in the top half. Ontario PCs could organize the list so that every two ridings get an MPP one way or the other.