The answer is no, of course not.
Right now, Ontarians, compared to citizens in other provinces, are already the most poorly represented citizens in Canada. In our current legislature, there are 103 Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP). Under FPTP, on average, there is one 1 MPP for every 118,061 citizens based upon the 2006 Census data (Ontario population, 12,160,282).
Under the MMP model proposed by the Ontario Citizens' Assembly, the total number of members would rise to 129, thereby meaning 1 member for every 94,266 Ontarians.
But, doesn't that just mean there is less direct representation?
No, that's not true either.
Under the current model, an Ontarian is represented directly by their local MPP, and indirectly by the Premier and the Cabinet. For example, if a citizen has an issue with education, they are free to contact their local MPP, the Minister of Education, or the Premier with their concerns.
Under the new model, an Ontarian is represented directly by their local MPP, directly by thirty-nine other Ontario-wide MPP's, and still indirectly by the Premier and the Cabinet. In this example, if a citizen has an issue with education say, they can contact their local MPP, or one of the other thirty-nine Ontario-wide MPP's, the Minister of Education, or the Premier with their concerns. In this way, Ontarians are represented directly by 40 Members plus the Premier and his or her Cabinet. Remember, those 39 Ontario-wide MPP's are relying on your vote just as much as your local candidate (more so, in fact).
Wait. How can a list candidate be relying on my vote more than my local candidate?
If a local candidate is removed from caucus, they can still run in a local riding as an independent. Name recognition for the local candidate will run high, if he was a high performing candidate, such as a Chuck Cadman, or a maverick non-conformer, like a Garth Turner. However, the list candidate does not have a local riding to fall back on if they are removed from caucus.
This means, if the list MPP is removed from caucus, and if they want to run again in the next election, they will need to find a local riding - which means, they will have to represent you to get your vote, in that riding. Or, at the very least, bring that name recognition to the local riding. That's no different under FPTP.
I'll get into the list candidates, in another post. I'll come back, and link to that post from here.
Fine. But, isn't more politicians a bad thing?
More politicians are a bad thing, if they do not represent anything. As it would stand under the proposal, there would be 1 Member of Provincial Parliament for about every 95,000 Ontarians, with the total number of MPP's being 129.
By comparison, some other ratios are:
- Quebec has 1 Member for every 60,369 citizens (125 seats in the National Assembly; based on a population of 7,546,131).
- Alberta has 1 Member for every 39,643 citizens (83; population of 3,290,350)
- Manitoba has 1 Member for every 20,147 citizens (57; population of 1,148,401)
- PEI has 1 Member for every 5,031 citizens (27; population of 135,851)
- Nunavut has 1 Member for every 1,551 citizens (19; population of 29,474)
So, Ontario is largely the true conservative bastion when it comes to the number of politicians (federally, they are a little more "conservative" in their representation) and will remain the conservative bastion it is, under MMP.
Up next, how political parties choose candidates under FPTP.