Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Elections Ontario has launched

Here is the press release verbatim. I haven't had a chance to explore the website or the other tools yet to offer an opinion.
TORONTO, Aug. 1 /CNW/ - In preparation for Ontario's October 10, 2007 referendum on electoral reform, Elections Ontario launched the first phase of its referendum public education campaign today. The "Understand the Question" campaign is designed to ensure that Ontario's 8.5 million registered voters are aware that the referendum is taking place and feel adequately informed to make a decision when it comes time to mark their referendum ballots this Fall.

At the same time as the general provincial election on October 10, Ontario voters will also receive a referendum ballot to choose whether to continue the current electoral system, known as First-Past-the-Post (FPTP), or adopt the Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP) electoral system proposed by the Citizens' Assembly. This marks the first time since 1792 that electors are being asked to consider a change to the way that Ontario's provincial representatives are elected.

"Our mandate is to ensure that Ontario voters are not only aware that a referendum is occurring on October 10, but believe they are adequately prepared to make an informed decision based on their individual considerations and priorities," said John Hollins, Chief Electoral Officer, Elections Ontario.

"Through our past experience and ongoing consultation with political science and literacy experts, we have designed a program that we believe reflects Ontario's scope and diversity, delivers impartial educational information and allows voters to become informed through a variety of mediums," continued Hollins. "It also allows us the flexibility to make adjustments based on voter questions as we move forward towards the actual referendum date."

<< "Understand the Question" Campaign Elements
  • The Elections Ontario referendum public education website, launching today, provides voters with impartial tools to define and understand both the First-Past-the-Post and the Mixed Member Proportional electoral systems and to assess these systems against individual voter priorities and considerations. Voters may also register their email addresses for information updates as website content will be continually enriched.
  • A public toll free information telephone line, 1-888-ONTVOTE (1-888-668-8683), is available beginning today to assist voters with their questions.
  • A Facebook profile and group launches today to increase referendum awareness and provide another channel for voters to make information inquiries though the email address
  • A community-level French and English media relations program is underway to distribute impartial information defining both electoral systems, critieria for making a choice against individual voter priorities and identifying other "Understand the Question" information sources.
  • A province-wide French and English newspaper advertising campaign and a further community and ethnic newspaper campaign in 25 languages will appear beginning the first week of September.
  • A province-wide "Understand the Question" French and English radio campaign launches today and will run until August 13, 2007.
  • Over 100 Resource Officers are being hired to deliver local community information sessions throughout the province. To request an information session voters may do so through, 1-888-ONT VOTE (1-888-668-8683) or
  • An online advertising program will begin in early September targeting high traffic Ontario portals of Canadian websites to encourage voters to visit for information.
  • A Youtube information site and a downloadable widget (an online viral web tool) will be available later in August to raise awareness and direct voters to "Understand the Question" information resources.
  • A province-wide "Understand the Question" French and English television campaign will launch in September, 2007.
  • A French and English direct mail information program will be distributed in September, 2007 to all Ontario voters.
  • Householders (unaddressed ad-mail) will be distributed to homes across the province immediately after Labour Day and again in the beginning of October. >>
About the Referendum

In June 2005, the Ontario Legislature began a process to review electoral systems. In March 2006, the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform, an independent body representing in the electors in Ontario, was created. They were asked to assess Ontario's current electoral system and different electoral systems, and recommend whether Ontario should retain its current system or adopt a different one. The Citizens' Assembly's proposal has resulted in this Referendum.

About Elections Ontario

Elections Ontario is the non-partisan agency responsible for administering provincial elections, by-elections and referendums in the Province of Ontario.

Updated: Comments are closed for this post.


Anonymous said...

Same system since 1792...hmmmm
And has worked ever since..hmmm
Ain't broke....
Don't need fixin'.
Another waste of taxpayers money


Anonymous said...

Who are the people promoting this?
What is their background?
What is their hidden angenda?
Have they reseached the New
Zealand experience?

My daughter in New Zealand told me
she hopes their system never happens in Canada. Once you have
introduced the cancer into the
system the people who benefit make
sure through their changed laws
that their is no chemotherapy or
radiation that can get rid of that

Canadian BEWARE be very very BEWARE

Anonymous said...

At first glance:

Think of the most obnoxious person in some party you don't like .......
You'll never be rid of them.

This has the potential to be Toronto focused.


Would there be term limits on party appointees?

Would appointees have to come from different parts of the Province?

How could voters oust an appointee?

Anonymous said...

Since this new system of electing our provincial government was suggested by a group who were "randomly selected" which doesn't mean they were chosen randomly at all since there were quotas set for male/female/native participation on the panel, BTW just what were all of the parameters used to select these people?

Also how will the new ridings be created by population by area etc.?
There will be areas and populations that will not be properly represented if the number of ridings is reduced.

How will the list members be chosen by each party and when will these lists be made public?

Will a standing candidate also be allowed to be placed on these lists , in other words have two shots at becoming a MPP.

There are too many questions that need to be asked and answered by the sitting government before this vote is taken.

I personally do not want any unelected person to sit in the Ontario Legislature as a MPP, I would rather a party that I didn't vote for govern than have someone appointed to the legislature.
I have been voting in Ontario elections for more than 50 years and have never felt my vote was wasted even if the party I supported did not win the majority.

If they want to have proportional representation they may as well have no candidates running for election and just vote for a party , then divide the seats up by vote percentages.

If voters can't see what can happen when a minority government is created by just looking at what is happening in Ottawa , where the former government members are now voting against all of their actions they formally supported when they were in power.
This system proposed can be highjacked by back room deals and by fringe groups with left wing ideas that do not necessary mean it will provide any good for the people Ontario, just for the fringe groups pushing their own self interests.
Also as the saying goes, figures don't lie but liars can figure and right now I'll bet at least one of the three major sitting parties has some bright spark figuring out how their party can twist this system in their favour to gain an advantage.
Duly electing your representative has worked for years and years , why does it need to be changed now just because it was recommended by a "randomly selected" group, again that's "randomly selected" not just randomly picked from the Ontario population.

Anonymous said...

this system sounds to be like the american mway of election. iam not american but am canadian and this system that is be use now work

Anonymous said...

We now elect 107 members to the legislature. With MMP we will elect only 90 with the result that electoral districts will expand to encompass a larger population of voters. The result will be a diminishment of your voting power.
Do the math. With 3 major Parties contesting 90 seats no one Party will ever win a majority with the balance of power held 39 "appointed" members (30% of the total # of MLA"S) who will hold the legislature hostage to achieve their own agendas. Democracy loses if PMM is adopted. Vote a resounding "NO" on Oct. 10.

Anonymous said...

Hummm.. I'm just a old Canadian and I don't have much time left the only thing I've got going because of years of hard work is money, now we all know I can't buy my youth back but perhaps if I gave my party a large gift I could get picked as a member and so have my name in the history books for all time!...

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

Thanks for all of these wonderful comments.

Mark over at Blogging for Democracy, answers all of your questions.

Truthiness about the Citizens’ Assembly