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  October 03, 2007 | How You Play the Game « Previous | Current | Next » Comments (0) | Archives | About Email lind at

On Oct. 10, make Ontario more democratic. Vote for MMP.

The establishment parties and press, after hoping people wouldn't notice Ontario's referendum if they ignored it, have been waging an intense campaign of lies and misinformation against Mixed Member Proportional. (I won't bother refuting them; see 10 Reasons to Vote for MMP, which puts the arguments as simply as possible, or the links at right and below.)

I don't see many people defending our current system, aside from mouthing the mantra that it creates stable majorities (that a minority voted for). As if a stable majority is more important than true democracy. As if true democracy is ugly and scary (which, to people who risk losing their power, it is) -- "small parties would crop up!" Well, yes. We live in a complex world. Our political system -- created in the 1800s and never changed, aside from enfranchising non-landowners and women -- doesn't reflect this.

First-past-the-post encourages totally skewed election results, giving parties that receive less than 50 percent of the vote unfettered power. This fact alone is like tobacco: If someone invented it now, it would be seen as absurd and never be allowed.

As National Post columnist Andrew Coyne puts it,

Supporters of the status quo cite its tendency to produce stable majority governments. But these aren't majority governments. They're legalized coup d'etats.

This is not an issue that divides on traditional left/right lines. Coyne, whose free-market arguments I often disagree with, has written an excellent series of columns arguing passionately for proportional representation. I recommend you read them and take the arguments with you to Thanksgiving dinner, if you have family members who need convincing:

The case against first-past-the-post September 26, 2007

PR: Debunking the fearmongers September 29, 2007

Why PR works October 3, 2007

This is the most important Ontario election in my lifetime. I regret not having done more, earlier, to inform and educate. But if you're reading this and still feel confused or don't plan to vote, I implore you: Get informed. Check out the links at right. Vote.

If, against tough odds, MMP gets through, it will make Ontario a lot more democratic.



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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