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  September 27, 2007 | Friends in High Places « Previous | Current | Next » Comments (1) | Archives | About Email lind at

Last week, I wrote about the evolution of a caricature. Well, John Tory is still in his infancy here -- I don't feel I've got a handle on him yet. This cartoon started with the first panel, which sat around on my desk for a week, trying to find a direction. When John Tory kept stressing faith-based schools, I made him follow Dalton, barging into Horst's Facebook. Then, in an interview with the National Post, he made the following statement on Mixed Member Proportional (see the links at right for more info):

"The notion to me that you'd have a whole bunch of people that would be down there now who will be accountable only to party bosses who put their names on the list, to me seems to be making the place less democratic, not more, and less accountable."

Well, as Scott Tribe wrote in a recent blog,

Uh, John.. you’re the leader of the Progressive Conservative party. You’re one of those “party bosses" you’re so fearful of in your statement. I’m sure you have a say and some influence in deciding how exactly your party would pick your list candidates.

In any case, Tory's fear-mongering -- which could have been easily allayed had he pledged, like Howard Hampton, to democratically select his list of candidates -- provided the hook for the strip. My own initial error the referendum was about Mixed Member Representation (MMR), became the "measles, mumps, rubella" joke.

I'm getting frustrated and fed up with the arguments of the anti-MMP forces. We have the opportunity of a lifetime -- to actually make our province more, not less, democratic. To make our votes matter. Don't believe all the propaganda about giving powers to "power brokers" and candidates chosen by party bosses. In fact, MMP means you have two votes -- for your party and your local candidate. He or she doesn't have to be from your party choice. You can make a more nuanced vote, dispense with useless strategic voting and actually have that nuance reflected in the outcome. There is far less potential for power abuse than under the first-past-the-post system, which saw Mike Harris trash many aspects of Ontario, despite the fact that 55 percent voted against him. How democratic is that?

Also, under the MMP system, the NDP could not have gotten in power in the early 90s under Bob Rae, with only 37.6 percent of the vote. In general, as Linda McQuaig argues, governments would better reflect the will of the people.

MMP will stop the province from lurching from left to right to left and not getting anywhere. It's long in use in Germany, where it has produced stable coalition governments -- hardly a "banana republic," as the anti-MMPers are claiming Ontario will become. And it will give the Greens some well-deserved power, likely giving our environment more protection.

If you're undecided, check out the sites and articles at right before making up your mind. The system as it is isn't working. We need a change.

Earworm: PF by controller.controller, from Toronto.



You can see a more extensive portfolio of my work at the blog, including This Bright Future, a distilled and partial continuation of Weltschmerz, Turtle Creek, a daily comic about a turtle and a computer, and Footprint in Mouth, a quarterly cartoon I draw for Alternatives.

Weltschmerz in Print

Weltschmerz ran in Toronto's Eye Weekly from 1997 to 2007. It ran in weekly papers in southwestern Ontario, Ottawa and Edmonton between 1995 and 2008.

Notes on Writing a Comic Strip

I wrote this 17-page, 4 MB PDF document for my workshop at the 2006 Eden Mills Writers' Festival. It details the creation of one strip and gives tips on writing comics.

Politics and Environment

Monbiot | Guardian columnist and Heat author George Monbiot's blog. Not only about global warming, but expect plenty of refutations of the flat-earthers. His writing is witty, incisive and bang-on.

Desmog Blog | An indispensible (and Canadian) resource that "clears the PR pollution that clouds climate science."


Weltschmerz playlist at CBC Radio 3 | Some of the music I listen to while drawing this comic -- independent and Canadian.

This American Life | Radio documentaries that hit the heart, brain and funny bone.

CBC Podcasts | I don't listen to much live radio. Now, podcasts allow me to catch a lot of what I miss. I listen to The Current, Ideas, Spark and Search Engine while inking.


Diesel Sweeties by R Stevens | Witty repartee between guys, girls and robots drawn in a pixelated yet surprisingly versatile style.

Scott Pilgrim Manga-style indie-rock romance by Canadian Bryan Lee O'Malley | The most fun I've had in a comic book in recent memory. Highly recommended.

Dykes to Watch Out For | Alison Bechdel's brilliant weekly strip has been ghettoized because of its gay themes but deserves a wider readership.

Doonesbury | Garry Trudeau is still great after all these years.

Kevin Heuzenga | Enviable drawing style and dry wit. Start with Time Travelling.

Graeme MacKay | The editorial cartoonist for the Hamilton Spectator has a distinctive, addictive drawing style. And he makes me chortle.

Friends and Neighbours

Blog Guelph | Hometown photos and events.

The Narrative | Riveting photoblog. Matt O'Sullivan is at the right place at the right shutter speed.

Breast of Canada | A calendar promoting women's health.

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