The very decisive rejection of MMP is just that – a rejection of Mixed Member Proportional representation as proposed. The voters understood that MMP put more power in the hands of the political parties. There is no getting around the fact that it remains the party that is putting the names on the MMP list and deciding the order. If you are number 1 on the list then you are going to be elected. Lists members are going to put the party first even over what is best for Ontario. I believe Ontario voters were very aware of this and just don’t trust political parties. They were not willing to vote for a system that gave these parties more power.
I think the vote shows Ontario voters want a system where all members of the legislature are elected from local ridings. Where the voters control which candidates from each party are elected as well as elections that more accurately reflecting voters’ choices.
The results of this vote show that Ontario voters believe very strongly in local representation and in voting directly to choose who they wish to represent them and their community. This should become the fundamental objective of any new proposal. I personally believe that the BC Citizens’ Assembly got it right. From their final report:
1. BC-STV increases choices, allowing voters a much greater say in determining who will be their local representatives. It allows voters to choose between candidates and parties, it lets voters show which candidates they prefer and in what order, and it ensures that their preferences count. This will provide increased opportunities for candidates from underrepresented groups.
2. BC-STV is also the only proportional system that allows independent candidates a real chance to be elected. Although increasingly rare, we believe that independents must have opportunities to participate in our provincial elections equal to candidates who work through political parties.
3. BC-STV responds to British Columbia’s basic values. It provides for fair election results, effective local representation, and greater voter choice, and it best balances these three values of electoral politics. Similar systems have been used successfully—in some cases for decades—to elect members to various positions in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, countries that share our Westminster parliamentary tradition. The Irish government has twice tried to use referendums to abolish STV, but the voters said "No." This is a system designed by voters for voters.
I hope the issue is not shelved for several more elections as the media is suggesting it will be. There are some very serious flaws in the FPTP system. The massive vote for FPTP should not be considered as an overwhelming endorsement for our current system. The record low voter turn out shows a disatisfaction with the current system. Those who voted and more so those who did not, feel that it needs to be fixed. The small "d" democrats who gave us this particular version of MMP, need to look at these results and listen to the people. They need to continue to lobby for changes to the current system. The Citizens’’ Assembly needs to be continued and instructed to look at more alternatives. We need a longer debate on the alternatives before we choice a system to be put before the electorate.