Bush Dumville’s efforts to convince civic-minded and concerned Islanders to run for a seat in the Legislative Assembly is to be commended. It would be refreshing to see new faces on the political scene committed to governance for the greater public good. It seems we have had too many business people posing as politicians far too long.
We must take exception however, to some of the comments made by Mr. Dumville concerning the MMP system supported by many citizens. For example, opponents of PR constantly assert falsely, that parties will appoint MLAs to the nine province-wide seats. In many jurisdictions with MMP, parties publish a list of the candidates who will occupy any proportional top-up seats by order of priority.
That is known as a “closed list” system (i.e. the voter has no influence over which of the people on the list will sit in the top-up seats as it is decided in advance). That is what MMP opponents call “appointment” of MLAs. That is not what is proposed here on the Island.
Here on P.E.I., the MMP system we will be voting on is an “open list” version, which means that parties will each present a number of candidates on the ballot for province wide seats. The voters will mark their vote next to any one of them. So, if a party is allocated any top-up seats, it will be the voters who decide which of that party’s candidates take those seats, not the party.
There is a difference.