On the TVO debate last night, and in one or two of my articles, it has been said that fringe parties will be elected under the mixed member proportional (MMP) system and that the 'list candidates' of this system will be appointed by the political parties. Both those comments have been strongly criticized by those in favour of MMP. I stand by those comments but I want to use this article to try to do a neutral assessment of them.
Will fringe parties get elected?
Under the MMP system a party that can gather 3% of the votes will receive 3% of the MPPs. The existing and MMP systems have fully demonstrated that there will be parties that receive more than 3% as well as less than. According to Wiktionary, the definition of fringe is as follows: Outside the mainstream. Based on that information, you can decide whether it is likely that a party will receive just over 3% of the vote and whether it is a fringe party.
Will MMP lead to Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) being appointed by political parties?
Under the current system all MPPs in Ontario are elected in their ridings during general or by-elections. Under MMP those parties that receive fewer seats than their percentage of the vote will receive additional seats from 'list candidates' until the party's number of MPPs approximately equals their percentage of the vote. That is, additional MPPs for these parties will be selected based upon a list submitted by the respective parties. For each party the selection will start at the top of the list and work its way down, with the order of the list also to be determined by the political party. Parties are required to make public how they selected the candidates on their list and who these candidates are. There are any number of options on how the parties may select their candidates but the more likely ones, and in fact it could also be a combination of some or all of these, would include: selection by the Party Executive, selection by delegates to a party convention(s), selection by the party's political leader, etc. Based on that information, you can decide whether these list candidates are appointed by political parties or elected by the voters.