Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fiercely Protected By An Old Guard?

There is an element of the pro-mixed member proportional (MMP) campaign that I just do not understand. Their website, when I last checked it, stated, "Ontario politics is being driven by an old system, fiercely protected by an old guard." To the left of that statement is a quote endorsing MMP jointly signed by Senator Hugh Segal, former NDP leader Ed Broadbent, and Liberal MP Carolyn Bennet. The quote even talks about how they represent three "partisan traditions". It is certainly fair to say the current system is an old system. However, it is hardly true that this system is being fiercely protected by an old guard. Indeed, most of the "old guard" seems to like and is endorsing MMP.


Wilf Day said...

Depends which old guard, eh?

John Gerretsen was the first Liberal MPP, as far as I know, to favour MMP. That was in 1995 when he was the only Liberal elected between Toronto and Ottawa, facing a big Harris majority elected by a minority of voters.

He was not a teacher or poli sci professor, but a lawyer. A long time Mayor of Kingston, and a former president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. Old guard? Yet Jack Layton was president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities before becoming NDP leader.

However, a Greg Sorbara might be considered more "old guard" than a John Gerretsen.

Within the PCs, many MMP fans come from the upstart Reform Party element, democratic reformers. Yet some also come from the Joe Clark Red Tory tradition like Hugh Segal. Or friends of Jean Charest who tabled an MMP plan for Quebec.

On Sept. 1 the Toronto Star printed a piece saying "Premier Dalton McGuinty, who first broached the subject of sweeping electoral reform more than a year before he won power in 2003, is publicly remaining neutral. But privately he is believed to favour MMP because, sources say, "he's a Boy Scout on this stuff." All McGuinty will say on the record is he welcomes the dissenting views on the subject within his cabinet and the Liberal caucus."

Perhaps it's the old guard Boy Scouts versus the old guard -- what's the opposite of Boy Scout?

Anonymous said...

Can you name two old guards that are fiercely protecting the old system?