Georgetown man selected as part of group chosen to review provincial electoral system
- Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 25 Aug 2006, p. 10
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A local man will be part of a group of Ontario citizens to take an in-depth look at the province's electoral system over the coming months and recommend keeping it, or adopting a new one. John Daley, 76, of Georgetown is one of 103 randomly selected Ontario residents-- one from each of the province's electoral districts-- to take part in the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform. Members of the Assembly were selected at random by Elections Ontario from the Permanent Register of Electors for Ontario. Daley, a retired industrial engineer who has lived in JOHN Georgetown since DALEY 1985, said he is looking forward to "being part of a groundbreaking experience and gaining an understanding" of what his fellow
citzens would like to see in their electoral system. "I wouldn't have thrown my name in if I wasn't interested," said Daley. He said at this point he doesn't know enough about the electoral system to have concerns about it, but he is looking forward to learning more and discussing whether changes are needed with the other Assembly members. The Assembly's work will be led by George Thomson, an educator and former judge and deputy minister, who was appointed by the government. Beginning next month the members of the assembly will meet about twice a month for eight months. The first meeting is set for September 9. The group will learn about the current electoral system and other systems. Then they will consult with the public through meetings and written submissions. And then they will either recommend keeping the current electoral system or adopting a new one. That recommendation will be outlined in a report due May 15, 2007. If the Assembly recommends making a change to Ontario's current electoral system, the government will put the question to voters in a provincewide referendum by October 2007. Halton MP Ted Chudleigh called the electoral reform exercise "political window dressing." "It scares me a little," said Chudleigh. Chudleigh prefers the current electoral system to proportional representation, which he fears could be a recommended change from the electoral reform process. "No country that has this form of government ever has a majority, it's always a minority and a coalition government." He said the whole process becomes very expensive because minority governments have to pay off other parties to form coalition governments, and that the economies of countries that have the first past the post systems (like in Ontario and Canada) "all do much better." Instead of changing the electoral system Chudleigh said he has more of a concern about equitable distribution amongst the ridings.
- Tallyn, Lisa
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- 25 Aug 2006
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