Make sure you tote your ability to vote

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The candidates: (from left) Deb Matthews, Rob Adler, Steve Holmes, Brett McKenzie

Election Day is just around the corner, and you know what that means â€" political junkies across campus will soon emerge to debate public policy and keeners will be lined up at the polls.

For those less politically-inclined, The Gazette will have plenty of information in our upcoming election issue on Oct. 4. Until then, here are some key election facts to keep you in the loop.

The Basics
On Oct. 10, Ontario is holding a provincial general election. If you’re a Canadian citizen at least 18-years-old residing in an electoral district, then congratulations â€" you’re eligible to vote. Expect to receive a Notice of Registration card in the mail that will have more detailed information, or visit the Elections Ontario website at www.elections.on.ca.

The Candidates
Four candidates are running in London North Centre from across the political spectrum. Representing the Liberal party is current MPP Deb Matthews. Contesting Matthews for her seat in Parliament are Rob Adler from the Progressive Conservatives, Steve Holmes from the New Democratic Party, and Brett McKenzie from the Green Party. More information on the candidates’ platforms can be found at their respective websites:
Deb Matthews â€" www.debmatthews.onmpp.ca
Rob Adler â€" www.robadler.ca
Steve Holmes â€" www.lnc-ndp.ca
Brett McKenzie â€" Website coming soon.

The Referendum
In addition to the election of candidates to Queen’s Park, the upcoming election also includes a referendum on the Ontario voting system.

From September 2006 through April 2007, the non-partisan Ontario Citizen’s Assembly on Electoral Reform studied various electoral systems and analyzed Ontario’s current “first past the post” system. The Assembly decided that switching to the Mixed Member Proportional system will increase choice for voters and provide more accurate, fair results.

This new system would allow voters two choices on a ballot â€" a party vote, and a candidate vote. According to the Assembly, having two votes allows voters to support both a party as a whole and a specific candidate in their constituency, or vote for a different party and candidate if they prefer. More information can be found at www.yourbigdecision.ca.

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