Monday, September 10, 2007

The Christian Heritage Party on MMP

Many people tend to confuse the Family Coalition Party with the Christian Heritage Party.

Or they think that the Christian Heritage Party runs provincially. They don't.

Now that that's all clear--

I came across this blogpost publishing the CHP's views on MMP. I formatted it for better readability and to underscore important points:

Objections raised by CLC and REAL Women seem to relate mostly to how MMPR might affect their ability to lobby politicians. In the CHP’s view, that’s a red herring. Whatever the rules, the ability to work within them will be roughly the same for all shades of opinon. What is really important is the capacity of the electoral system to give a representative voice to all shades of opinion. To choose a system on the grounds that it might give “our side” an advantage is actually anti-democratic.


The “first-past-the-post” system dates from an era when virtually everyone in the “riding” knew the candidates’ character and policies. That’s no longer true.That’s why political parties have grown in significance: people can find out (to the extent that the mainstream media are willing to refrain from censoring or distorting information) what each party stands for; then they can vote for the candidate/party combination that best represents their own views. That’s why “list candidates” named by the parties are not a threat: the parties that nominate them constitute a standard for the voters.

There is one advantage to MMPR that is rarely mentioned: it opens the door to public service to people of intelligence and character who may now be excluded by the built-in bias of a media-dominated system. Our present electoral system favours “actors”—people who look good on-camera and on-stage. But there are people of intelligence and character who are not “actors”: they may be physically unattractive, or they may not speak in public as well as they think or write. Those people have little chance of being nominated under today’s media-oriented system. However, policy-makers within the parties know people who would be excellent public servants, even if they don’t present well on-camera. The parties can add such people to their “list candidate” nominations, and thus open a channel for public service that was previously closed to those people. Our present system eliminates many people who might be good public servants, but are not attractive “actors”. Opening the door to such people could actually improve governance in Canada


Our old FPTP system has repeatedly resulted in gross inequities of representation. In the USA, some political analysts have pointed out how the “two-party” system—towards which the FPTP electoral system strongly trends—has been a “disaster”, because both big parties, following the same survey and focus group data, end up offering essentially identical platforms—and all other voices get submerged. For one such viewpoint, read The Two-Party System: A Catastrophic Failure at MMPR offers the opportunity for all citizens to know that their opinions will have a voice in the legislature. Lobbyists (including ‘our guys’) will have to lobby the voters, not the elected politicians—which is as it should be.

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