Reality Check: calls on Toronto Star to clean up misleading referendum reporting

    TORONTO, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - is accusing the Toronto Star of
fear-mongering and inaccurate journalism in the Star's editorial today against
electoral reform.
    In today's editorial, the Toronto Star repeated the misleading claim that
under Ontario's proposed new MMP system, the new province-wide candidates
"could simply be appointed by party bosses."
    "This argument is regularly being used falsely by unthinking defenders of
the status quo to deter support for needed electoral reform," said Rick
Anderson, campaign chair of "It's a shame that a media
organization with the Star's credentials is not more careful with the facts
regarding such an important question confronting voters."
    After eight months of careful study, Ontario's Citizens' Assembly on
Electoral Reform recommended that Ontarians adopt a mixed member proportional
(MMP) electoral system, in which:

    (a) a redesigned ballot allows voters to vote once for their preferred
    local candidate and a second time for their preferred party, and

    (b) future legislatures are composed of a mix of 90 locally-elected MPPs
    (elected as today) and 39 new provincially-elected MPPs elected by voters
    proportionate to the party votes cast on the second part of the new

    "The Citizens' Assembly did not recommend that any MPPs be appointed, nor
is that the practice in other democracies which use MMP," said Anderson. "It
is misleading and unacceptable to characterize that as part of the MMP
    In today's system, parties are left to determine their own methods for
democratically nominating local candidates. Likewise, the Citizens' Assembly
left it to the individual parties to determine their own methods of nominating
both riding and provincial candidates in the future, with the provisos that
the parties are required to nominate their candidates publicly before voters
vote and to publish the details of their candidate nomination processes in a
clear, democratic and transparent fashion.
    "In the other jurisdictions which use MMP all parties have adopted
democratic candidate nomination processes for proportional candidates, just as
they have for local candidates. Moreover, even in advance of the new system
being adopted three of Ontario's four parties have already made public
statements affirming they will follow democratic practices to nominate MMP
candidates." (See backgrounder below.)
    "The notion that under MMP candidates would be appointed is simply
hogwash," said Anderson. "Star readers should demand greater accuracy from
their paper. Informed voters require a higher standard than this inaccurate
sloganeering." is a multi-partisan citizens' campaign supporting the mixed
member proportional (MMP) voting system proposed by the Ontario Citizens'
Assembly on Electoral Reform.


    John Tory, Leader, Ontario PC Party (National Post, September 25, 2007):
"The Conservative leader went on to say that if the referendum passes, his
party will likely find a democratic way to develop its list of candidates:
'The history of our party is that the party insists on choosing its candidates

    Howard Hampton, Leader, Ontario New Democratic Party (Ontario Today, CBC
Radio, September 26, 2007) "We believe we should nominate the at-large
candidates according to a very democratic process. We would want to ensure we
have more women, more visible minority candidates, more First Nations
candidates...a lot of people who make up the Ontario mosaic."

    Frank de Jong, Leader, Green Party of Ontario (GPO press release,
September 27, 2007): "Democracy extends to choosing candidates in a
transparent and equitable manner...We are committed to using a transparent and
equitable process to produce a slate of qualified Green candidates who
accurately reflect Ontario's diverse population."

For further information:

For further information: Larry Gordon - (647) 519-7585,; Rick Anderson, Campaign Chair,,
e-mail:; Website:

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