Quote of the Day: Comfortably Numb

by matttbastard

What’s most infuriating about all this is the simple refusal of the anti-MMP side to deal with the reality of Ontario politics: a vast majority of voters simply do not matter, myself included. In my riding, I can either vote for the incumbent, and simply pad his victory margin, or I can vote for another candidate and not be counted at all. And that’s it. Those are my choices, once every four years. If you read the Star or the Globe, you’d think this either a) didn’t matter (I am a smelly hippy, after all) or b) isn’t true (I’m a figment of my own imagination.) As Greg Morrow has pointed out, the outcome of this election is going to be determined by about 75,000 people — that’s it. Or, to put it another way, if you’re one of the 98.5% of Ontarians who didn’t get a golden ballot [today], and you’d like that to change, then vote for MMP [today].

– John @ Dymaxion World, Why you should vote for MMP [today]

More last minute things you can to help make history from Blogging For Democracy.

Vote for MMP

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24 Hours

by matttbastard

Vote for MMP

Standing on the precipice of 10/10. Thought I’d be more excited, or at least anxious. Muted ambivalence reigns, however.

What Ed Broadbent (and others) said at this past weekend’s Churchill Society debate was entirely correct: an important event like the potential restructuring of our provincial electoral system should never have been shotgun-wedded to an election, playing second-fiddle to a cacophony of prefabricated idiocy. Reform was doomed to be drowned out by the white noise of all-too-familiar campaign dissonance, the same ol’ song and dance routine.

But fuck it – boogie with the one who brung ya, as they say.

So many others have stated the case for reform better than I ever could. My favourite entreaty came from Idealistic Pragmatist, who eloquently captured my own feelings of despair with the system as it stands now, ever since I cast my first ballot 12 years ago, at the tender age of 18 (for Bob Rae & the NDP gov’t, if anyone cares).

Gonna quote a small passage, but encourage you all to read the whole damn thing (if you haven’t already):

To say that this is a historic opportunity is a huge understatement. It seems that when people are truly informed about the two choices and what they mean, they tend to prefer MMP–but I unfortunately don’t have the ability to inject the hands-on political education I got by living first in Germany and then in Canada into every Ontarian’s brain. So I’m asking you to trust me a little on this: MMP really does work. It doesn’t produce perpetual unstable minority governments, it doesn’t make political parties into super-sized patronage machines, and it’s not at all hard to understand.

Yes, it’s different from what people are used to, and yes, that’s scary. But it’s even scarier to the status-quo politicians who have benefited under the current system, and are completely panicked about the prospect of having to learn to do their jobs differently. Don’t listen to them. They haven’t lived under MMP and really seen how it works, and I have. I know about all of the frightening scenarios that they want you to believe–the ones that could, in some alternate universe, potentially produce some scary result like parties taking control and stacking parliament with people who owe them favours. But the thing is, they’re talking about what’s theoretically possible, and MMP really doesn’t work that way in practice. And even if that alternate universe somehow came to pass, none of those scenarios are scarier than things that have already happened in Canada as a direct result of the system we already have.

It’s long past time for a change. Make history, Ontario. Make me proud.

Look: no one is saying MMP is a cure-all, nor is it a perfect system free of problems. NO democratic system of government is (Bush’s pining for the simplicity of despotism comes to mind). But it is way better than the winner-take-all status quo.

And it’s only the beginning.

Regardless of what happens tomorrow, the real heavy lifting starts on 10/11. Yes or no, win or lose, there’s still gonna be loads of hard goddamn work to be done to breath some life into our stagnant democratic system, both provincially and nationwide.

IP is right: let’s make (and keep making) history, Ontario.

Vote for MMP

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Hump Day Music Spotlight: Spotlighting The Tears Of A Tory Edition


In this campaign, one might presume that Premier Dalton McGuinty would be facing most of the fire over his broken promises – whether from outraged taxpayers or parents of autistic children or drivers on the 407. But it isn’t so. Rather, it is Tory who is on the firing line, with his proposal to extend public funding to “faith-based” schools.

– Ian Urqhart, Limelight not the spot for Tory

One day after taking a battering from all sides over his backtracking on funding for faith-based schools, Tory paused to compose himself when recounting the plight of a woman he met while visiting Flemingdon Park, a low-income, high-crime neighbourhood in northeast Toronto.

She “greeted me at the door with her disabled son in a wheelchair who had his tonsils out,” Tory said, his voice cracking, “and in the course of having his tonsils out he had damage done to his brain – an ordinary operation to have his tonsils out.”

“She’d moved the hospital bed on to the main floor of her house in Flemingdon Park because he had to sleep there in the living room … and she told me that she had to carry him up the stairs … only once a day to go to the bathroom. This is a boy of 8 years old so he probably weighed about 65 pounds – she’s a reasonably small woman.”

Tory said he mentioned the encounter in a speech on Sept. 5 and a woman in the audience then told her husband, who offered to donate an old lift device for the stairs so the boy can more easily get to the bathroom upstairs.

“So right now, they’re looking in that unit – and I’m dealing with the housing corporation from the back of my bus – to see if we can possibly put that into that woman’s home,” he said, adding he’s also arranged free installation for the stair-lift.

I’m just telling you when I see those things, that’s the way I react. How can we possibly live with ourselves when we have that kind of thing going on in a wealthy society like this?

– Robert Benzie, Plight of poor brings Tory to tears

(Yes, Saint John has always been renowned for displaying empathy towards the disabled.)

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