Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A simple check

Via Dissidence, the Star reports that at the end of a process which was presumably aimed at putting the future of Ontario's electoral system in the hands of voters rather than politicians, the McGuinty cabinet will be responsive to absolutely nobody in drafting the question on MMP to be placed on the ballot this fall:
Premier Dalton McGuinty and his cabinet — and not an all-party legislative committee or a non-partisan outsider — will decide the Oct. 10 referendum question on changing Ontario’s electoral system.

"We'll have a question that is very clear for people to consider on the ballot and we'll take it from there," McGuinty told reporters this morning...

Democratic Renewal Minister Marie Bountrogianni said voters should not be worried that the Liberals will craft a question that favours the governing party in any way.

"Cabinet will frame the question. It will be simple, clear, concise. As the premier has told me, if my mother can’t understand it, we’re not doing it," said Bountrogianni.

But Progressive Conservative MPP Tim Hudak (Erie-Lincoln) and NDP MPP Michael Prue (Beaches-East York) said all parties should be involved in determining the question to ensure it is fair.
Both the article and Dissidence suggest some other means of ensuring a fair question. But from my perspective, the check on any question (whether drafted by cabinet alone or by a multi-party committee) should be obvious.

After all, it's the Citizens Assembly that's made the decision as to what type of system should be considered, and voted to have it put to Ontario's citizens this fall. Given the assembly's role as the final decision-maker in the process to date, is there any reason at all not to put the question itself to another assembly vote to make sure that the ballot question matches the assembly's intentions?

No comments:

Post a Comment