Thursday, August 16, 2007

On Fake Consultations With The People

Michael Den Tandt, the editor of the Owen Sound Sun Times gets it exactly right. The government wants to look like it's doing the right thing by consulting about electoral reform and yet is doing its best to sink the initiative. Here is the money quote from Mr. Den Tandt:
But if you don't have Internet access, or the time to go hunting for specifics, as I did? Two months before referendum day, you're likely still in the dark. Here's the magic trick: The government has decided that at least 50 per cent of voters in 64 Ontario ridings, and 60 per cent of voters provincewide, must choose reform, or it dies. For the reform side to reach anywhere near that margin of victory will require a highly informed and motivated populace. But that would require a high-profile debate, which we haven't had.

Why not? Perhaps it's because neither the Liberal Party, nor the Conservative Party, has the slightest interest in electoral reform. The status quo suits them just fine. Conservative John Tory has his nose to the wind and can almost smell a majority in October. Dalton McGuinty has tasted the almost absolute power granted any leader with a majority mandate in our present system and doesn't want to give it up. A poorly funded, low-key referendum campaign suits both these gentlemen just fine. But they'll pay homage to "public consultation" until the cows come home.
Indeed, I can already see McGuinty on election night, doing his best bleeding heart conservative routine. "I had hoped for more, but the people have spoken." We as a people cannot let that happen. We have to avoid that McGuinty money shot at all costs.
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