Where I give the 'yes side' zero points is their rebuttals to the no side. In fact, the misinformation they have presented in some of their rebuttals is frustrating. I am going to dissect one as an example:
By Chris Tindal, the Democratic Reform Advocate for the Green Party of Canada
Somewhere, there must be opponents of MMP who are able to argue their case without resorting to misleading statements and inaccuracies. The Sudbury Star’s Claire Hoy does not appear to be one of them. In yesterday’s paper he writes a frsutratingly irresponsible attack against MMP that contains numerous fallacies which beg to be corrected.
TINDAL HAS SET THE STAGE - CLAIRE HOY'S OPPOSITION TO MMP CONTAINS NUMEROUS FALLACIES.
First, he claims that MMP would result in “considerably more politicians.” What he doesn’t say is that under MMP Ontario would still have fewer representatives than we did before the Harris years, and still less political representation per person than any other province or territory in Canada. Either way, most Ontarians will recognize stronger representation as a positive thing.
OKAY. SO THERE WAS SOME INFORMATION THAT TINDAL WOULD HAVE LIKED HOY TO MENTION. HOWEVER, THIS STATEMENT HAS NO FALLACIES AS TINDAL HAD PROCLAIMED. IN FACT, IT IS ENTIRELY FAIR AND ACCURATE.
Second, he makes the equally inaccurate but often repeated claim that the list representatives under the new system would not be elected, but would rather be chosen in secret. In fact, it is our current system which allows parties to choose candidates in back-rooms without any transparency; the new system requires them to open up the process so that voters can make informed decisions. Parties will nominate their list candidates as they nominate candidates under our current system, but they’ll also be required to make public the process by which their list is chosen, making it all but impossible for “party hacks” to control the list in secret.
THE LIST CANDIDATES WILL NOT BE ELECTED. MOREOVER, IN THE CURRENT SYSTEM CANDIDATES FOR ALL MAJOR PARTIES ARE NOT ELECTED IN BACKROOMS THEY ARE ELECTED AT PUBLIC NOMINATION MEETINGS. SO TINDAL HAS IN FACT PUT FORTH A FALLACY. MOREOVER, THE PROPOSED SYSTEM WILL NOT OPEN THE PROCESS UP. THERE WILL BE ABSOLUTELY NO CHANGES TO THE WAY LOCAL CANDIDATES ARE NOMINATED AND FOR THE LIST CANDIDATES THE PARTIES SIMPLY NEED TO DEFINE HOW THEY WILL BE SELECTED. TINDAL SAYS THAT PARTIES WILL NOMINATE THEIR LIST CANDIDATES AS THEY NOMINATE CANDIDATES UNDER OUR CURRENT SYSTEM. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT FOR THAT. IF THE PROCESS A PARTY SELECTS IS THAT THE PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE SHALL SELECT THE CANDIDATES THEN THAT MEETS THE RULES AND THE PARTY HACKS WILL IN FACT SELECT THE LIST CANDIDATES, CONTRARY TO TINDAL'S STATEMENT.
Third, Hoy inaccurately claims that MMP leads to minority governments. In reality, countries that use MMP (like Germany and New Zealand) experience coalition-majority governments that have proven to not only be stable (Germany has had exactly the same number of elections since adopting MMP as Ontario has had in the same time period), but also to do an extremely effective job of reflecting the will of the electorate.
FROM A LAYMAN'S POINT OF VIEW MMP WILL NEARLY ALWAYS LEAD TO MINORITY GOVERNMENTS IN ONTARIO. TECHNICALLY, IT IS MORE CORRECT TO SAY THAT MMP WILL LIKELY NEVER RESULT IN A MAJORITY GOVERNMENT. THAT SOUNDS LIKE SPLITTING HAIRS BECAUSE IT IS, BUT I'M TRYING TO BE GENEROUS WITH TINDAL. AND TO GO A BIT FURTHER WITH THAT GENEROSITY, MOST MMP RESULTS WILL LIKELY LEAD TO COALITION MAJORITIES.
Finally, Hoy feels the need to mock the Citizens’ Assembly itself, which is most objectionable. The Citizens’ Assembly–103 every-day Ontarians chosen at random from each riding–worked for eight months on our behalf learning, consulting, and deliberating about all of the world’s many electoral systems, including our current system and France’s system that Hoy favours. This represents an unprecedented exercise in democratic engagement for our province and should be applauded. The citizens who made up the assembly know more about the advantages and faults of MMP than any other group of people in Ontario, and yet they voted over 90% in favour of recommending MMP as being the best system for Ontario.
TINDAL MAY NOT LIKE THAT HOY MOCKED THEM, IT IS PROBABLY EVEN RUDE TO MOCK THEM, BUT MOCKING IS NOT IN ITSELF A FALLACY.
Of course, Mr. Hoy is free to disagree with them. However, he should do it using facts, and with a respect for the overwhelmingly democratic process that was used to arrive at the conclusion that Ontario should vote for MMP.WHERE ARE THE FALLACIES, MR. TINDAL? THERE WERE NOT NUMEROUS FALLACIES AND IN FACT IT WAS YOUR REBUTTAL THAT INCLUDED FALLACIES.
MOST OF THE OPPOSITION TO MMP HAS BEEN PUTTING FORWARD VALID CRITICISMS AND THE PRO-MMP SIDE HAS BEEN PUTTING FORWARD VALID BENEFITS. HOWEVER, MANY OF THE REBUTTALS OF THE PRO-MMP HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY INACCURATE.