Greens vow equity, transparency in choosing candidates under MMP

– Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007 – Green Party of Ontario Leader Frank de Jong held a press conference at Queen’s
Park today to reveal the democratic process his party would use to choose candidates
under the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system.

“Some people are trying to mislead Ontarians by suggesting
that MMP would allow parties to subvert the democratic process,” Frank de Jong. “They clearly underestimate the
voting public.

“The truth is that well-informed Ontarians recognize that
MMP is a valuable opportunity to introduce real democracy to Ontario, and that democracy extends to
choosing candidates in a transparent and equitable manner. Voters want Ontario and Canada to join the vast majority of
democratic countries in adopting an electoral system where every vote counts
and everyone has a voice.”

De Jong was joined at the press conference by Jeanette
Fitzsimons, co-leader
of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand and
an elected MP, as well as Steve Withers of the organization Vote for MMP. Together, they
highlighted the advantages of MMP, which is the subject of a referendum being
held concurrently with the Oct. 10 provincial election.

currently used with great success in New Zealand
and Germany,
among other nations, gives citizens two votes on their ballot: one to elect a
local candidate, and another for the political party of their choice. The “local
candidate vote” determines who represents each riding, just like in the
current system. The “party vote” determines what share of seats each
party will receive.

Ontario’s Legislature will
have 90 riding and 39 at-large MPPs. If, after the riding seats are filled, a
party has fewer seats than its portion of the party vote, it is allotted the
appropriate number of at-large seats to ensure fair representation at Queen’s
Park. These at-large representatives are elected from ordered lists of
candidates nominated and made public by each party before the election,
ensuring that voters can judge the candidates and vote accordingly.

The Greens’ list, de Jong said, will feature alternating
male and female candidates, beginning with the party’s Leader and its Deputy
Leaders, who are elected democratically in party-wide ballots. The current
Deputy Leaders are Victoria Serda, the candidate in Huron-Bruce, and Dr.
Sanjeev Goel, who’s running in Brampton West.

Next on the list are the top female and male vote-getters,
by percentage, from the previous election, in order to reflect the will of
party supporters. The balance of list candidates will be chosen through a
democratic election among members at the Green Party’s annual general meeting.

“Under MMP, voters will expect each party to select its list
candidates in an open and democratic fashion,” de Jong said. “We’re committed
to using a transparent and equitable process to produce a slate of qualified
Green candidates who accurately reflect Ontario’s
diverse population.”

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Media Contacts

Anouk Hoedeman, Media Relations
Green Party of Ontario