My main concern with the MMP was not the salary issue, but the cut off for seat eligability. A party would need a minimum of 3% to be eligable for a seat....that's pretty low. The system would have some benefits insofar as representation for existing parties that have support, just not enough to win ridings (ie green party), but I don't think that outweighs the potential for major boondoggles in the HoC.
Think of it like this (I admit that this is dangerously oversimplified, certainly
Say I form my own party, called the "University Students for Tuition Decrease Party". I'm pretty sure I can get 3% of a provincial vote just by campaigning on campuses. Now, I've got a seat in the House. Maybe I have some views on other policies, but I'm basically just there to lobby for my agenda regarding tuition.
So, now, I'm sitting here with a vote. Potentially a deciding vote on any number of issues. And I don't really care about those issues, because I'm elected by people who are backing me on ONE major issue and will continue to do so, especially since I don't have to answer to a single riding constiuency. I doubt the students who voted me in are going to be closely following my voting record on health care reform, transportation funding, etc.
Okay, so back to me on the floor during a house vote on whatever, getting sweet-talked equally by the whips for the Liberals, PCs and NDPs.....and here I am with lots of power to mess with public policy in exchange for votes or support for amendments and bills related to my one issue.
Now, lets say I'm far from the only new, short-agenda party in the House. How much policy-setting do you think will be happening?
It's hard enough to get anything done.....I just think this would make it harder.
I'd rather we, the constituents, become more involved in our ridings and representatives, hold our government to a higher standard, demand change where needed and protection where appropriate, and champion an informed and engaged public, than expand the ballots in what is likely a futile effort to level the playing field in the hopes of jump-starting policy influence for parties in their infancies.
We haven't successfully demanded adequate and accurate representation from our current House members, who answer to constiuencies; how would adding free-floating "representatives" advance the setting of public policies if we are risking the flooding of the House with minor, short-agenda parties?