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October 4th, 2007


(an edited preface to rob’s rant: for the uninitiated in the mahna mahna experience please click here. now we return you to the rant in progress…)

Hey friends… long time no chat!

Unfortunately for most this may be unrewarding as it is not a rant and really only pertinent towards those in an Ontario, Canada habitation. Those of you who like gleaning insights from other cultures and countries may want to read on anyway. And lastly to those who are disinterested regardless of either potentially life enriching possibility, well… I might sprinkle some potty words intermittently so just skim along till you find one and giggle.

What I’m talking about is the upcoming Ontario election.

That’s right, the time is upon us where we take our little toddler of a province and find a new babysitter for a few years.

Our Premier of Ontario (the equivalent of a State Governor to you folks in the USA) Dalton McGuinty has to hang up his dancing shoes and wait to see if he gets to take Ontario out for another spin.

For sake of interest I will tell you we have two main parties. The Liberals are the equivalent to the USA’s Democratic Party, and the New Progressive Conservative Party is like USA’s Republican Party. We also have the New Democratic Party affectionately known as the NDP. In addition to these we have many smaller parties with such notables as the Green Party, the Marijuana Party, and even Communist and Marxist parties. Now I’m not here to get political and sway your vote one way or the other though I do urge anyone to get themselves informed before hitting the polls. What I’m here to discuss is an important little addition known as a referendum.

A referendum is an event that occurs when the government decides an important decision needs to be brought before the people and voted on. The most important referendum in the last twenty years was so significant that it could have been the catalyst to having Quebec leave the governance of Canada. So you understand that theses referendums can have far reaching effects.

This year’s referendum question is “Which electoral system should Ontario to elect members to the provincial Legislature?”

So essentially how do you want your votes to count?

They are giving us two options.

The existing electoral system (First-past-the-post)

This is the current system we use and is named after a horse racing term meaning the first one to the finish line wins. Canadian government likes drinking and gambling, what can I say… We’re AWESOME!!!

This means you vote for a candidate in your electoral district or “ridings/constituencies”, and if your guy wins and is associated with the Retarded Monkey Party, then that means the RMP have secured themselves a seat in the provincial Parliament. There are 107 of those son bitches this year so they need 54 to cinch the win. The winner is declared by the party that has the most seats and the Premier is the agreed upon leader of said party. See… simple. The problem is this, what if you like the RMP party, and the head honcho seems quite the sly dog but the RMP candidate in your riding is a complete and total douche. Do you vote for the douche to help get your main guy another seat? Or do you vote for the guy in the Epileptic Rhino party cause he’s got his shit together and hope the RMP makes up the seats in other districts?

So comes option number 2

2) The alternate electoral system proposed by the Citizen’s Assembly (Mixed Member Proportional)

Here’s the nitty gritty, in June 2005 the government made this Citizen’ group to review our electoral system and other country’s electoral process. They asked them to basically to come up with the fairest way to run an election in Ontario. This is what they came up with.

There is still the drunken horse racer process of first one to get the high votes wins but there is also a Proportional Representation system. As a voter you would vote twice. One vote would be for the representative of your district and one vote would be for the party that you believe in. For instance, Say you are an Epileptic Rhino party supporter all the way but your best friend is running in your area and she happens to be shacking up with the Retarded Monkey Party. Not only that but the Epileptic Rhino party representative in your area is your old Grade 10 math teacher who you know specifically to be a total butt munch and is unsafe being left in control of a toaster let alone an electoral seat. This is where the new system works best. You can vote for the Rhino party as you’ve always voted and you can also vote for your friend because she’s the competent candidate in your area.

So great you’ve voted twice… now what? Well in the new voting system there are 90 elected seats called “Local Member Seats” available. In the last scenario, if everyone knew your math teacher was a schmuck, you best friend would earn an elected “Local Member Seat”. In addition to elected seats there are 39 “List Member Seats” and this is where the vote for the party comes into play. Now these details may not be important to you but I’m going to enlighten you anyway… At the beginning of an election the parties will nominate candidates as “List Members” and describe why they were chosen. Now back to the Party votes.

Let’s say the Rhino Party showed strong in the election but were unable to attain many seats, heck we’ll even say the lost by one vote each time they lost. Does this mean the province is being properly represented? No, that is why they’ve invented the “List Member” seats. If any party garners over 3% of the votes they are allowed to take up an amount of “List Member” seats based on the number of seats that they were able to attain in the “Local Seat” elections. This means you may have gone away from you party faith to vote for you friend, but your party vote will help them to place another deserving member in office in a “List Member Seat”.

This is what the referendum is asking, I won’t tell you which party I’m voting for but I will tell you that I think the new election system is the better choice. 60% of all referendum ballots need to be counted as voting for “The alternate electoral system proposed by the Citizens’ Assembly” in order for the change to take effect. So whether you agree with my choice or not discuss this with your friends and coworkers, your family and neighbours. Help make people aware that a big change is happening and they have a direct way to influence that.

And this goes for the election as well, don’t bitch and moan about the Government when they’re doing something wrong if you’ve never taken the time to figure out who you’re voting for was the most prudent decision to make. All the candidates can be found online if you take the time to look. Usually you’ll find their entire platform upon which they are riding. That platform is the degree by which you can hold them accountable if the begin to lose the confidence of your vote.

That my friends is global, all of us who are given the freedom of choice have a responsibility to act upon it.

Our Ontario elections are on October 10th 2007. Go out and do your duty and everyone remember this when your election time comes around.

Just so you know…



  1. Kyle

    The political discussion here is very interesting. However, I must divert your attention from this most worthy of matters for a few seconds, in order to comment on the comic itself.

    Guys, I have enjoyed your comic consistently since I discovered it about a year and a half ago, and it’s a definite favourite. There’s one big thing starting to interfere with that, though, and that’s the dragging nature of the Rob-coma gag. It was very funny to start off with, but by now there’s a distinct whiff of the Spiderman Clone-Saga around here…I’m hoping Rob snaps out of it within the next couple of strips, because the gag is wearing thin. I don’t want to fall into the usual traps of internet criticism, because I’ve enjoyed every strip of yours that I have read and hope to continue doing so for as long as you put them out there. This is just something I had to mention, as I can’t imagine I’m the only reader to feel this way.

  2. Tangerine

    It’s so not that serious. The Rob coma thing has, indeed, gone on forever and a day, but Rob/Ramon are working creatives with the hustle on AND BNS is free.


    FTR: I love the combination of Muppets and political commentary.

  3. Chris

    Hahahaha… douche!

  4. David Riches

    Muppets and Political Commentary?
    Soundes like it’s time for a Muppet News Flash……

  5. Villanousfats

    This just in! Big Bird resigns in teh backlash of teh ‘Elmo Scandal’. Grouch to take over the presidency despite calls for an early election from the Bert & Ernie Party.

    I know its Sesame St but the muppets annoyed me then and they annoy me now.

  6. kozy

    Worry not about Manah. Remember, a true muppet never dies! How many times has Beaker bit the biscuit in Muppet Labs only to come back for more of Bunsen’s bizarre experiments?! An atmosphere of zany discovery I try to emulate in my own lab, I can anonymously say! Quick… fetch me another grad student!

  7. Cillian

    I come from Ireland and we have a voting system very similar to the new one being proposed for Ontario. It’s worked great for our country, and is a much fairer way to elect a government than a ‘First Past the Post’ system. Now all we need are some good politicians…

  8. Total Poker Tutor » meanwhile…

    […] is not a rant and really only pertinent towards those in an Ontario, Canada habitation source: meanwhile, […]

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