Thursday, September 06, 2007

Vote for MMP and stop the Nazis!

For the record I'm still undecided on MMP, though I'm leaning reluctantly towards it at the moment.

I'm not a fan of FPTP either, but I do have reservations about whether the many cons of MMP are outweighed by the pros, whether moving from one imperfect system to another imperfect system is really the way to go, and whether further reform would be better served by acceptance or rejection of MMP.

But anyway, while I mull it over I’m doing lots of reading, and Liberals for MMP pointed the way to a rather interesting article at Macleans.ca on the New Zealand experience with MMP. I had to chuckle at this line in the piece though:

Auckland hotelier Dick Langridge went further. "Labour can no longer govern without the support of the Maori Party and the Greens," he told the Herald. "MMP was designed in Germany to stop the Nazis regaining power and has denied governments having real power ever since."

Now there’s a reason for me to get behind MMP: to fight the Nazis! I, for one, don’t want to see any goose-stepping up Bay Street.

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7 comments:

Bailey said...

I thought John Geddes comments on the article over at Macleans.ca really sums up what I think about the whole debate regarding electoral reform much better than I ever could.

Scott Tribe said...

I guess the guy's point was that the MMP setup prevents one party from imposing its political will on the country without having consensus or support from other political parties.

You're not going to get the Nazi Party or equivalent in Canada obviously, but the point of preventing electoral tyranny by the majority party (elected without a majority of votes normally) is well taken.

Mark Greenan said...

Good to see a blogger with an open mind on MMP, Jeff.

No electoral system is perfect, all reasonable people can agree on that. And I don't think even the most zealous MMP supporter would claim that, they just think that the current system is the worst.

I really can't see how one could argue that voting against MMP furthers the cause of electoral reform.

The McGuinty Liberals to their credit inaugurated a fair, open and transparent public consultation process. Recognizing that politicians have an inherent conflict of interest when it comes to electoral systems, they rightly put the job of evaluating the current system in the hands of average citizens with no personal interest in the system.

I just can't get my head around how voting against the Citizens' Assembly's recommendation furthers the cause of voting system reform.

There are very few people in the electoral reform who think that this referendum should be the be-all and end-all of discussion on this issue. We just think that it's time to get with the majority of Western democracies and bury first-past-the-post.

Jason Hickman said...

Now there’s a reason for me to get behind MMP: to fight the Nazis!

I must admit, it's a shift from the usual "Vote for MMP and the Nazis/Social Conservatives/Tree-huggers/Communists/Wingnut-o'-the-Week Will Hold the Balance of Power and We'll All be Screwed" stuff we get from the No-MMP side.

Like yourself, I'm leaning more towards a "yes" vote, but some of the rhetoric out there (mostly but certainly not always on the yes side) is really not helping the debate any.

johnnnny said...

You're not going to get the Nazi Party or equivalent in Canada obviously, but the point of preventing electoral tyranny by the majority party (elected without a majority of votes normally) is well taken.


This is a good point. My worst fear is a conservative gov't somehow getting elected with a "majority" (but only due to First-past-the-post) and then privatising/briberising our electricity system again. They almost succeeded last time too, but for a court challenge and a technicality in the Act.
MMP would stop that.
Even if we get
Some of our best programs came out of minority with CCF/NDP support: medicare, Petro Canada, etc.

And sigh, no anonymous comments? :(

Jason Hickman said...

Correction: Most (not all) of the offensive rhetoric has been coming from the "no" side - IMHO.

Wilf Day said...

You say MMP "has denied governments having real power ever since." Only if voters are nervous of one-party governments.

Take the 2002 New Zealand election. Labour's Helen Clark had done a good job as Prime Minister. She went into the election campaign with more than 50% in the polls. The pundits and media said "We're heading for our first MMP one-party majority government." The voters' reaction was "we love you, Helen, but we're not giving you unbridled power." Labour dropped to well under 50%, Helen Clark was re-elected but needed support from another party to pass laws, and voters said "that's just what we wanted, thanks."