On Oct. 10, Ontario voters will decide the future of the province’s electoral system in a referendum that asks:
Which electoral system should Ontario use to elect members to the provincial legislature?
- The existing electoral system (First-Past-the-Post)
- The alternative electoral system proposed by
the Citizens’ Assembly (Mixed Member Proportional)
The Liberal and Conservative parties are both neutral on the question, although prominent members of each are lined up on both sides of the issue. The NDP and all the minor parties except the Freedom Party (which is officially opposed) and the Libertarian Party (no position) support the change, no doubt because they think it will increase their representation in the provincial legislature. But, while the Family Coalition Party supports mixed member proportional representation, socially conservative organizations, including Campaign Life Coalition, the Canada Family Action Coalition and REAL Women, are all opposed.
REAL Women is concerned that feminists and other special interests will use the proportional representation system to further leverage their influence. Indeed, Equal Voices, a feminist outfit whose goal is to increase the number of women in politics, is supporting mixed member proportional representation and went so far as to ask those who oppose MMP to remain silent for the remainder of the campaign.
In its October CLC National News, Campaign Life Coalition said, “We oppose proportional representation (MMP) because we think it will make politics less democratic, placing too much power in the hands of party elites and creating a second tier of elected politicians who do not represent constituents, but who will be beholden only to party leadership for their jobs. This scenario will decrease our – and your – ability to lobby politicians on behalf of life and family issues.”