Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Letters to the editor...Chudleigh wrong on electoral reform
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 13 Sep 2006, p. 6

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Dear editor, Re: August 25 story, "Georgetown man selected as part of group chosen to review provincial electoral system". John Daley, the ordinary citizen from Georgetown selected to participate in the Ontario Citizens' Assembly, has an open mind about electoral reform, but he and his fellow assembly members will have to sort through the erroneous claims of people like Halton MPP Ted Chudleigh, who fails to understand the importance of this assembly to Ontario's political health, dismissing it as mere "political window dressing". Chudleigh claims that "No country that has (some form of proportional representation, or PR) ever has a majority", but Ireland has had a majority government 60 of the past 80 years, and historically 25 per cent of West European governments using PR post-war have had majority governments. The normal outcome is a stable coalition government-- academic research shows that PR countries have governments that last just as long as first-past-the-post (FPP) countries (Powell 2001). Chudleigh also claims that FPP countries "all do much better" economically, but seven of the top 10 countries on the UN's 2004 Human Development Index all use PR (Canada is fourth, and the U.S. and Japan come in at eighth and ninth respectively). The choice of electoral system is too important to leave in the hands of politicians, who are in an inherent conflict of interest, and I applaud the governments of B.C. and Ontario for recognizing this. I wish Mr. Daley and his fellow assembly members all the best as they take up this much-needed review of our ailing democracy. Antony Hodgson, Demochoice B.C. Vancouver, B.C.

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13 Sep 2006
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Hodgson, Anthony
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Letters to the editor...Chudleigh wrong on electoral reform