[Sept 1 – I know that I’re recycling the crap out of this post, but it’s getting more and more relevant by the day. Besides, I just plain haven’t had the time to put up anything original lately. Don’t worry though; I plan on getting back to shooting my mouth off again regularly after the long weekend. -Dennis]
[May 17 – This post was originally put up on April 19 and while I’m not in the habit of bumping old material to the top again, today’s post by Ruth over at rootleweb has brought the issue back into my mind. Ruth and I are usually on the same page, but not this time. And the more I think of it, the more convinced I am that this is an issue that needs to stay on the front burner. So, for that, you get what’s probably my first-ever rerun… -Dennis]
I have to say that I am totally with Adam Daifallah on this one. On Sunday, the Ontario’s Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform proved that if you crack a brainfart in a confined enough space, you really can stupefy everyone in the room. Proving once again that Orwell was right when he said that “there are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them,” this gaggle of widget-wankers cacked up the suggestion that we bugger up our electoral system and dump the FPTP system in favour of topping it up with PR. Ontario voters get to decide on this latest clanger the pointy heads left on our rug when we go to the polls in October:
When provincial voters go to the polls Oct. 10 to elect a new government, they’re also to decide if the election status quo is good enough, or if a new system is needed. It’s called ‘mixed member proportional’ and gives greater representation to the popular vote. It would mean electing 90 politicians in enlarged ridings across Ontario using the current first-past-the-post system, with another 39 appointed by parties from a public list of candidates, according to the percentage of popular vote they received.
This is a bad idea. I’m honestly tempted to blab up that this is and even worse idea than the Farmer Bob Gun Registry Balls-up. No, I don’t think I’m going off half-cocked here; this has the potential to do one hell of a lot more damage than the registry ever did. All the gun registry really did was waste money and give the temporary illusion that a corrupt party was actually doing something to get tough on gun crime. This, on the other hand . . . this has the potential to weaken our entire democratic system, possibly paralysing the will of the people and placing real power in the hands of a few elite, possibly for generations.
Oh, shit; take his guns away and get the net. Dennis has lost it.
No, I haven’t. Look; I know that PR sounds like a good idea. A party gets 12% of the votes, it gets 12% of the seats in the legislature. Everybody’s vote counts, everybody has a say, the balance of the legislature truly reflects the collective will of the people . . . it’s the ultimate in democracy, right??
That’s the theory. The reality is somewhat messier. Look what has happened in other countries that have adopted PR: the influence and power of party machines and professional politicians has only been increased. Majority governments become nearly impossible. With no one clearly in charge, damn near nothing gets done and what little does manage to slip through is watered down to virtual uselessness. And the sonsofbitches that benefit from that chaos have no interest at all in fixing it:
The experience of the past hundred years in numerous countries has shown how PR leads small parties to breed like rabbits. Politics becomes a continual cabinet shuffle, with jostling and shifting coalitions. Governing along any steady course becomes extremely difficult. The Italians know this all too well, but when they tried to get rid of PR, the politicians who had gained power under that system got in the way.
You think that having a minority government, every now and then, is a pain in the ass? Try imagining that as being the best you can expect to get… EVER.
PR also effectively shitcans the idea of regional representation, something that is absolutely vital in a province as geographically diverse as Ontario, let alone a nation as vast as Canada. Imagine this, if you will (we’ll use a federal scenario for this example):
Under our current system, the people of a particular riding all get together and decide amongst themselves, without any outside interference, who is going to be their MP. This guy or gal then becomes that riding’s representative in Ottawa, NOT the Whatever Party’s representative in that riding. [Try explaining that to the Grits, I know; but I digress…] This means that the good folks of Freezeyourassoff, about 180 km northeast of Chruchill, get to decide who carries their concerns to the ears attached to the pointy heads in Ottawa.
Under PR, however, the Whatever Party decides that Eugene Sniffletwit, a fine upstanding academic from metro TO with an impressive alphabet soup of sociology on his business cards, is clearly a much more qualified representative to speak in the House than some backwards bumpkin who probably owns a gun. Mr Sniffletwit doesn’t own a gun. In fact, the only thing that Mr Sniffletwit knows about guns is that he doesn’t like them and any intelligent person can clearly see that that’s all he needs to know about them. So Eugene — guided by his superior intellect, honed through years at the finest hermetically sealed leftist educational institutions the country has to offer — throws his support behind the 2017 Guns Are Bad Act, which the all-urbanite House passes into law by a vote of 307-1 after Garth Turner worked himself into another snit. The Canadian Universal Firearms Ban takes effect January 1, 2018, making possession of any firearm an indictable offense punishable by up to 14 years in prison (or a week in your room, if you get a conditional sentence).
People in Freezeyourassoff are now prohibited from even owning a rifle, let alone carrying one as they go about their business in close proximity to animals that will eat them if given the chance. Freezeyourassoff now has a lucrative market for baseball bats with nails in them. But at least they were represented. Proportionately.
In response to this embarrassment, the government promptly introduces the Northern Communities Relocation Act because, let’s face it, those snotty eskimos have no bloody business living up there like that, bothering mommy nature’s creatures like polar bears, in the first place. Who do they think they are? If they’d bothered to go to university, they’d know better. We should pass an Act about that…
Over the top? Extreme? Of course. But if there’s one thing that I’ve managed to learn in my lifetime, it’s this: if something CAN be taken to its most ridiculous, idiotic, socially destructive extreme by lib-leftists, IT WILL BE!! Just look at all the inevitable, clearly foreseeable consequences predicted by conservatives in the past that were labelled “right-wing fearmongering” and look how many have come to pass.
Sure, this is only Ontario and it’s only a watered-down version of proportional representation, but mark my words:
THIS IS THE THIN END OF THE WEDGE!!!
If you value effective governance, STOP THIS NOW, before it has the chance to do any real damage! On October 10, vote for whoever you want (that’s your god-given right) but for God’s sake, vote against this bullshit. There’s a damned good reason why our Westminster model has lasted as long as it has: IT WORKS!
Don’t buy the snake oil. Keep Ontario’s democracy strong and stable. Do what you know to be right.