Ontario Election Results

October 11th, 2007 by Potato

Well, from the preliminary results here before I head off to bed, it looks like the Liberals have won with a handy majority. However, I have to wonder how many people actually voted for the Liberals, rather than against the Conservatives? How many ridings were hotly contested, and how many people would have been better represented by some degree of proportional representation?

These issues didn’t seem to trouble voters, as it looks like the referendum failed miserably. I don’t quite understand why. Yes, the education and awareness campaign was pathetic, and most people were talking about religious schools rather than electoral reform. People were writing letters to the editor every day to the local paper with misconceptions and FUD about how the list MPP system would work (and not understanding how the current system of getting your name on the ballot as a local candidate works, either), so even people interested (and irate) enough to pester the paper couldn’t (or wouldn’t) learn what it was about. And with a budget of under $7 million (something like fifty cents a person — I’d like to tell you what the parties spent on advertising, but I can’t find that figure; I know the limit is something like 70 cents per voter province-wide, plus another $1 per voter for local candidates), and a somewhat complicated/subtle/boring change to explain, it’s not too surprising that the education campaign wasn’t very effective. But at the same time, I figured people would be hungry for electoral reform, as I am most of the time. The referendum in BC was not that long ago and it was so close*. And in fact, I believe that BC is going to re-hold their referendum in 2009 (with more education campaigns, and more details fleshed out, such as the proposed boundaries of the new electoral districts).

I’m disappointed, Ontario.

* – granted, their proposed system was STV, which I personally preferred over MMP, even if it does make voting and counting more complicated.

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