Pro-MMP group calls on John Tory to affirm respect for citizen democracy

    TORONTO, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - Noting that Conservative Party Leader John
Tory's name is listed on an anti-MMP website, the campaign
has called upon Mr. Tory to promise to follow voters' wishes should they vote
to implement MMP.
    "Mr. Tory apparently has little regard for the work of the 103 regular
citizens who toiled long and hard on behalf of their fellow voters in
Ontario's Citizens' Assembly," said Rick Anderson, Chair of the
Campaign. "Voters deserve assurance that a Tory Government will not show
similar disregard for voters' intentions should the MMP referendum pass, and
that a Tory Government would proceed to implement change in accordance with
the Electoral System Referendum Act."
    On October 10, Ontarians will vote in an historic election reform
referendum, deciding whether to approve or reject modernizing of Ontario's
old-fashioned electoral system with reforms aimed at:

    -  making future legislatures more representative of votes cast

    -  making every vote count

    -  increasing opportunities for women and minorities to be elected, and

    -  allowing voters to vote twice in future elections, once for their
       preferred local candidate and once for their preferred party.

    Two years ago the Ontario Legislature passed an act establishing an
independent citizen-based process to consider Ontario election reform, in a
manner purposefully arms-length from partisan politics. The 103-member
Citizens Assembly strongly recommended that Ontario adopt the "Mixed Member
Proportional" (MMP) system for future elections. Consequently, under the
provisions of the Referendum Act, voters at large now have the responsibility
to accept or reject the MMP recommendation, in a nonpartisan referendum where
political parties are also precluded by law from campaigning.
    "It is regrettable that Mr. Tory's name is being used to sway voters one
way or another in this important referendum," said Mr. Anderson. "When this
process commenced, the Legislature was very wise to have placed redesign of
Ontario's antiquated electoral system beyond the self-interest gamesmanship of
competitive partisan politics. It would be a shame if today partisan politics
are allowed to lower the level of thinking on this important matter in the way
they unfortunately do on so many issues."
    "We encourage Mr. Tory to have his name withdrawn from the anti-MMP
website, and to state clearly to voters that their decision will be

    About Vote for MMP: Vote for MMP is a multi-partisan citizens' campaign
supporting the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system presented to
Ontarians for adoption in the referendum on electoral reform referendum on
October 10. MMP was proposed by the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral
Reform, an independent body of 103 randomly chosen Ontario voters. Assembly
members were asked by the Ontario Legislature to (a) determine whether Ontario
needs a new voting system, and (b) if so to recommend an improved system. The
Assembly studied proportional electoral systems used in 81 democracies around
the world, and selected MMP as the approach best-suited for Ontario. Vote for
MMP is funded by donations from citizens and organizations who agree with the
Citizens' Assembly recommendations, and believe it is time to strengthen
democracy and modernize Ontario's voting system that gives voters more choice,
fairer results and stronger representation.

For further information:

For further information: Steve Withers, Media Coordinator, VoteForMMP
Campaign, Tel: (519) 282-1078, e-mail:; Rick
Anderson, Chair, VoteForMMP Campaign, e-mail:; Website:

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