1) Masses at rest will stay at rest...
...Until acted upon by an outside force. Being the most populous of the provinces, Ontario's masses are statistically likely to be the most massive. Speaking - again, generally - these masses will therefore require a greater application of force to be moved. I alone have not the means with which to apply this force, but with a little audience participation, this state of affairs can be changed. I am speaking again of the upcoming referendum in this province, in which these masses I spoke of will be asked a question which - given the sparse and passive publicity campaigns I have seen - they may very well know nothing about. It doesn't help that the government has set a very high bar for this referendum (and rightly so: they're a beneficiary of the injustices perpetuated by the current electoral system). This is wrong, and it must be stopped. For my part, I have already signed up to volunteer with Fair Vote Ontario. This upcoming Thursday, I will be making my debut as an activist for change in an arena other than the blogosphere. If anyone reading this post (who lives in Ontario, of course) believes in fair elections, and in a real democracy, then I urge you to do the same. Join me, and the McGuintys WON'T rule the galaxy as father and son, etc.
And if you won't listen to me, will you listen to Don Ferguson?
There is no reason not to vote for MMP, not one. If people can't handle the fact that not everyone votes either Conservative or Liberal, could they please just move to the fucking United States where there are only two parties (ok, so there's Nader, but they care about him less than we care about the NDP, or even the Green Party)? This referendum isn't about making every government weaker. Quite the opposite is true, in fact. The powerpoint presentation here makes a very good point, in that if coalition governments become the rule, parties will no longer have the ability to tear down that which their predecessors spent 4 or more years instituting. Why, if MMP is adopted as Ontario's electoral system, progress might actually become possible! The people who want to resist this change aren't standing up for strong government, and they're not standing up to make sure you're represented. The argument that list PR members will be loyal to a party and not to the people only holds if no one is ever willing to vote for someone else if their previous choice doesn't do a job with which they are happy. That may be the current state of affairs, but then the problem rests with people who can't think or vote outside a fucking box, and is a detriment to ANY electoral system, not just MMP.
Today, a Citizen editor expressed the opinion that FPTP was "fun" because you could give the thumbs-down to a star candidate, and not have them just pop into a seat off a party list. This man would silence the political voices of what could theoretically amount to 75% - 1 people in a riding, just so that Stephane Dion or someone of his ilk could be shown up when his or her "star" candidate gets humiliatingly outvoted! This man would compromise the very integrity of democracy itself, because it's more "fun" that way! As if there aren't enough public figures humiliating themselves already, we have to accept a flawed, archaic electoral system, just to have more! I don't buy it, and I hope you don't either.
Please, think with your head and your heart: MMP is a better system for you, and it's a better system for everyone around you. One of your votes will be wasted this October 10th. See to it that your other one isn't.
2) Masses in motion will stay in motion...
...and "that's not much"
I watched Serenity tonight (last night?), and I was reminded of how much I am in love with that world, and those characters. It made me think about the value of standing up for something, both within and without the fiction. I may not wear a brown coat and write steamy fanfic about odd and potentially unnatural BDH "OTP"s, but I've purchased, or been involved, or been the cause of purchasing at least 3 sets of Firefly DVDs, which may not be too too much money, but I'm glad to have contributed to those marvellous figured wich gave the world that very same movie I just watched. Every year it pains me more to think about the could-have-beens, and then I recall that if Firefly hadn't been cancelled, I mightn't have heard about it. The fact that I had the privilige, no, the honour to witness fourteen episodes of the best show ever may not be much, but it is - to quote Mal Reynolds- "enough". This may not "Wash" with the crowd of fans who saw the show on-air, and I have no idea what to say to them. This digression aside, I think that if it's good and just to fight so hard for excellent TV, that not only should THAT be done more often, our resolve when fighting for real political change should be doubled.
So, if this referendum fails, what's the political equivalent of getting a movie made of an (excellent, cancelled) TV show? I suppose a bunch of people could apply to emigrate to countries which have instituted such a system...
*Impossibly pleasant guitar chords which make you feel warmth in every part of your body, and - for dualists - your mind/soul. Oh, yeah, and they make everyone else look prettier, and the day look nicer and...fuck, I miss Firefly! *
3) For each and every action, there is...
...A large group of people who are unhappy with it. Be mindful that there are people out there who wish for the simpler days of a two-party system, when FPTP was much fairer than it has become, what with a voter being offered real choice. There will be people who will ask "why are these other parties on the ballot?". If you happen to meet one of these people (and you will clearly do so, because you're volunteering, right?), you tell them that a two-party system is about as democratic as a light-switch. I mean, it's absolutely thrilling to sit around for hours and hours flipping the lights on and off, but if you want light, but don't enjoy the colour produced by the particular bulb, you're out of luck! Democracy needs not only a light-switch, but hardware stores, and a selection of fixtures, toolboxes, and a stepladder. Oh, and y + 1 [insert derided socio-economic/political/racial group x here].
Disclaimer: you may want to leave out the last one if you're actually volunteering.
because a "quiet revolution" is clearly masterminded by people with no sense of style