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Big day coming

September 24th, 2007     by Nicole Cohen     Comments

October 10 will be a big day in Ontario. Not only will we vote on the provincial government, but we have the chance to transform our electoral system which, as many commentators have pointed out, makes little sense.

In the last election, thanks to our antiquated first-past-the-post voting system, the Liberals were handed 70 percent of the seats in parliament but only earned 47 per cent of the vote! The current system also makes it very difficult for smaller parties to win seats, not to mention women politicians, who are often run by parties in ridings in which they have little chance of winning.

Ontario’s non-partisan, randomly-selected Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform (half of which are women!) has recommended a new system, Mixed Member Proportional (MMP), which is in place in countries such as Germany and New Zealand, and is considered to better reflect the popular vote.

You may have seen television and online ads about the referendum, but if you’ve looked to mainstream news coverage of the issue, chances are you’re still in the dark. This is a really important issue for those of us concerned with getting more women elected to all levels of government, and Equal Voice outlines the reasons why MMP is a better system for women.

If you’d like to find out more about what MMP means, a free info session will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at Ryerson University (245 Church St., 3rd floor atrium).

Panel members include:

  • Ed Broadbent, former MP and former director of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development
  • Ajamu Nangwaya, Executive member of CUPE 3907
  • Catherine Baquero, member of the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform
  • Louisa Moya, Executive member for Equal Voice: An Action Group for the Election of Women

Whatever you do, make sure you vote on October 10!

Tags: event listings, news flash

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