Transcript: Democratic Deficit | Mar 27, 2005

(music plays)

The opening sequence rolls.
Music plays as clips of politicians and demonstrations appear on an animated number 4.

Steve says STEVE I THIS WEEK ON "4TH
READING."
FIGHTING THE DEMOCRATIC
DEFICIT.

A clip plays.

In the legislature, Michael says THIS BILL NEEDS DEMOCRATIC
RENEWAL.

Steve says DOES ONTARIO'S
ELECTORIAL SYSTEM NEED AN
OVERHALL?

The clip ends.

Steve, the three panelists and a guest sit around a table in the shape of a number 4. A logo on screen reads "4th reading."

Steve is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray jacket over a gray striped shirt.

Steve says GOOD AFTERNOON.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
WELCOME TO "4TH READING" FOR
THIS WEEK.
DALTON McGUINTY LIBERAL
GOVERNMENT MADE AN
UNPRECEDENTED ANNOUNCEMENT
RECENTLY THAT COULD
DRAMATICALLY CHANGE THE WAY WE
ELECT THE POLITICIANS.
YOU COULD BE FORGIVEN IF YOU
MISSED IT.
MOST MEDIA WERE FOCUSED ON THE FUN
RAISERS THE PREMIER HAD WITH
DEVELOPERS.
SO IT GOT SHORT RIFT.
WE WILL RECTIFY THAT, BECAUSE
THE GOVERNMENT HAS FLOATED
SOME INTRIGUING IDEAS WORTH
DEBATING.

A clip plays.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Michael Bryant. Minister for Democratic Renewal." Michael is in his forties, with combed blond hair and clean-shaven.

Michael says MISTER SPEAKER, THIS BILL, IF
PASSED WILL STRENGTHEN --

Steve says THE LIBERALS SAY
THERE'S A DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT
IN ONTARIO AND HAVE UNVEILED A
BILL THEY SAY WILL BEGIN TO
FIX THE SYSTEM.

Michael continues IT WILL GIVE ONTARIANS A
MORE DIRECT SAY ON IMPORTANT
GOVERNMENT DECISIONS THAN THEY
HAVE EVER HAD BEFORE BY
ALLOWING US TO ESTABLISH A
CITIZEN ASSEMBLY ON ELECTORIAL
REFORM AND A CITIZENS JURY ON
POLITICAL FINANCIAL REFORM.

Steve says THESE CITIZEN’S ASSEMBLIES WOULD BE PICKED
FROM A LIST OF REGISTERED
VOTERS AND BE ASKED ON WAYS TO
CHANGE ONTARIO LAWS ON
POLITICAL DONATIONS. CITIZENS
ASSEMBLIES WOULD LOOK AT
ELECTORIAL REFORM AND LOOK AT
CHANGES TO THE CURRENT SYSTEM.
THE FINAL RECOMMENDATION WOULD
BE PUT TO THE PEOPLE IN THE A
PROVINCE-WIDE REFERENDUM. SOME
SAY IT WILL MOST LIKELY MOVE
TOWARDS THE SYSTEM OF
PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION.

The caption changes to "Wayne Smith. Fair Vote Canada." Wayne stands in a building. He’s in his late fifties, with dark hair and clean-shaven.

Wayne says PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
IS A COUPLE OF BIG WORDS FOR A
SIMPLE IDEA IF, A POLITICAL
PARTY GETS 40 percent OF THE VOTES,
THEY SHOULD GET 40 percent OF THE
SEATS AND NOT 60 percent.
IF THEY GET 10 percent.
THEY SHOULD GET 10 percent INSTEAD OF
NOTHING.

Steve says NOW THEY ARE
DETERMINED BY FIRST PAST THE
POSTSYSTEM.
WHOEVER WINS THE MOST VOTES IN
THE RIDING WINS A SEAT.
UNLESS YOU BACK THE WINNER
SOME SUGGEST YOUR VET DOESN'T
COUNT.

People vote in a building.

Steve continues THEY SAY IT HAS LEAD TO VOTER
APATHY AND DECLINING VOTER
TURNOUT RATES. IN THE 1975
PROVINCIAL ELECTION 68 percent OF
ELIGIBLE VOTERS MADE IT TO THE
POLS. BUT, BY THE 2003 VOTER
ELECTION
VOTER TURNOUT HAD DROPPED TO
57 percent.

A slate shows the data mentioned.

Steve continues WOULD PROPORTIONAL
REPRESENTDATION REVERSE THE
DOWNWARD TREND?

Wayne says COUNTRIES WITH PROPORTIONAL
REPRESENTATION GET HIGHER
TURNOUT BECAUSE PEOPLE KNOW
EVERY VOTE IS GOING TO COUNT.

Steve says OPPOSITION CRITICS SAY THE
BIGGEST PROBLEM IS PUBLIC
CYNICISM TOWARDS THE PUBLIC
PROCESS.

The caption changes to "Elizabeth Witmer. MPP. PC, Kitchner-Waterloo." Elizabeth is in her fifties, with short blond hair.

Elizabeth says THERE ARE MANY REASONS WHY
PEOPLE DON PARTICIPATE, I
THINK THE BIG ONE IS LAST IN
TRUST OF POLITICIANS TO KEEP
PROMISES.
SO THEY SAY WHY BOTHER.

Steve says ALTHOUGH THE NDP SUPPORT
CITIZENS ASSEMBLIES IT FEARS
THE LIBERALS MAY MP THE
RECOMMENDATIONS TO THEIR OWN
ADVANTAGE.

The caption changes to "Marilyn Churley. NDP, Democratic Renewal Critic." Marilyn sits in a room. She’s in her fifties with short blond hair and bangs.

Marilyn says THEY, LIKE ALL GOVERNMENTS
HAVE WON WITH VERY LOW
PERCENTAGE OF THE POPULAR VOTE,
BUT STILL HAVE A MAJORITY
GOVERNMENT.
AND I EXPECT THAT THEY WILL
WANT TO HAVE A FINAL
RECOMMENDATION THAT WILL
FAVOUR THEM BEING ABLE TO GET
A MAJORITY OF SEATS AGAIN.

Steve says NOT SO SAYS RENEWAL
MINISTER MICHAEL BRYANT.

In the legislature, Michael says THIS GOVERNMENT PROMISED
DEMOCRATIC RENEWAL.
THIS BILL MEANS DEMOCRATIC
RENEWAL.
I URGE ALL MEMBERS OF THIS
HOUSE TO SUPPORT THIS BILL.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Steve says A BOLD BOAST BY THE
LIBERALS HERE TO CONTINUE THE
DISCUSSION.
LAUREL BOTEN THE LIBERAL MPP
FOR ETOBICOKE AND LAKESHORE.
THE FOLKS STARTING WITH SEAN
CONWAY, JANET ECKER, THE
FORMER PROGRESSIVE
CONSERVATIVE CABINET MINISTER
AND DAVE COOKE.
THE FORMER NDP CABINET
MINISTER.
WHY DO YOU THINK WE NEED TO
CHANGE THE WAY WE HAVE ELECTED
MPPS IN THIS PROVINCE FOR A
CENTURY?

The caption changes to "Laurel Broten. Parliamentary Assistant to McGuinty." Laurel is in her late thirties with shoulder-length blond hair. She’s wearing a white turtleneck sweater under a light jacket.

Laurel says IT IS SOMETHING WE TALKED
ABOUT ON THE ELECTION
CAMPAIGN.
AND WE HEARD IT IS IMPORTANT
TO MAKE SURE WE HEAR ONTARIANS
VOICES.
THAT THEY FEEL PAR OF THE
PROCESS.
WE'VE CHANGED A LOT AS A
SOCIETY, SINCE THIS PROCESS
WAS ESTABLISHED.
I HAVEN'T BEEN INVOLVED IN IT
FOR NEARLY AS LONG AS SOME OF
THE OTHER PANELISTS TODAY.
BUT I HAVE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY
TO TALK TO PEOPLE WHO DON'T
FEEL THEIR VOICE IS HEAR.
I THINK IT IS A BRAVE
GOVERNMENT WHO SAYS WE WILL
LOOK AT THIS ISSUE.
WE WILL ASK THE QUESTIONS AND
GO TO THE CITIZENS AND ASK
THEM, DO YOU THINK WE NEED TO
CHANGE THE WAY WE ELECT
GOVERNMENT.

Steve says CAN YOU IMAGINE
FINDING A CONSENSUS ON THE
ALTERNATIVE IN?

Laurel says IT WILL BE DIFFICULT, BUT
THE QUESTION NEEDS TO BE
ASKED.
WE STARTED WITH THIS ELECTION
CAMPAIGN ESTABLISHING A SECRET
AT AND PUTTING MATTHEW
AMENDELSON THE DEPUTY PREMIER,
VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE.
GREAT IDEA.
BRINGING FORWARD SOME NEW
IDEAS AND STARTING A DIALOGUE.
WHAT IS THE ROLE AND INFLUENCE
OF MONEY IN POLITICS?
THAT'S WHAT THE CITIZEN'S JURY
WILL LOOK AT.
HOW WHEN WE ELECT MPPS?
HOW SHOULD THEY REPRESENT AND
SERVE YOU?
THAT IS WHAT THE CITIZEN
ASSEMBLY IS ABOUT.
DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH ACCESS TO
YOUR MPP?
IN THE LAST NUMBER OF YEARS
NOW WE HAVE CONSTITUENTS TO
GET ME ON MY BLACKBERRY.
IT IS VERY DIFFERENT THAN IT
WAS IN THE PAST.
I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT
MODERNIZING THE WAY WE DO
BUSINESS IN GOVERNMENT.

Steve asks WHY DO WE NEED CITIZENS
ASSEMBLIES?

Laurel replies THE ISSUE OF THE CITIZENS
ASSEMBLY, HOW ELSE ARE YOU
GOING TO REACH OUT TO
ONTARIANS?
I PLAN TO REACH OUT AND ASK
THEM THE VERY SAME QUESTION?
BUT THAT WILL BE ONE TORONTO
RIDING, FOLKS THAT LIVE IN A
CERTAIN GEOGRAPHIC AREA.
UNLESS YOU DO A BROAD BASE AND
TRY TO REFLECT THE CITIZENS OF
THE PROVINCE IN THIS GROUP OF
PEOPLE YOU'LL BE BRINGING
TOGETHER.
YOU MAY END UP WITH A VERY
SKEWED RESULT.

Steve says SEAN, WHAT DO YOU
THINK OF CITIZENS ASSEMBLIES?

The caption changes to "Sean Conway. Former Liberal Cabinet Minister." Sean is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with blond hair. He’s wearing glasses, a gray suit, white shirt and dark red tie.

Sean says THEY ARE FASHIONABLE.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE CANADIAN
DEBATE.
YOU SEE IN ONTARIO, BRITISH
COLUMBIA AND SOME OTHER
JURISDITIONS, QUITE AN
INTEREST IN INVOLVING A
BROADER GROUP OF CITIZENS TO
ASSIST WITH SOME ASPECTS OF
THIS SO-CALLED DEMOCRATIC
RENEWAL DEBATE.
I THINK GOVERNMENTS NOT JUST
IN ONTARIO AND ELSEWHERE IN
THE COUNTRY ARE SENSING THERE
IS A GROWING DIVIDE BETWEEN
THE GOVERNING AND THE
GOVERNOR.

Steve says I THOUGHT WE ELECTED
MPPS?
DO WE NOT?

Sean says I'M A BIT OF AN
OLD-FASHIONED TRADITIONALIST.
HAVING SAID THAT, I THINK WILL
IS AN ISSUE.
AND I THINK EVEN TRADITIONALS
HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT.

Steve says JANET?

The caption changes to "Janet Ecker. Former P.C. Cabinet Minister." Janet is in her forties, with short blond hair. She’s wearing a red blouse, a black blazer, a brooch and glasses.

Janet says I THINK IT IS A GOOD
PROCESS TO GO THROUGH.
I THINK THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD
GIVE CREDIT FOR ASKING THE
QUESTION AND TRYING TO SET IT
UP.
I THINK THEY NEED TO BE
CAREFUL THAT WHAT THEY PROVIDE
IS AN EDUCATED INTELLIGENT
DEBATE, SO WE DON'T GET A
STAMPEDE TO SOMETHING EVERYONE
THINKS IS THE POLITICLYING
CORRECT ANSWER.
SECONDLY BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT
OF TALK ABOUT PROPORTIONAL
REPRESENTATION.
THAT'S THE WAY TO GO.
I THINK THAT'S ONLY ONE
OPTION.
THE OTHER THING THOUGH, THAT
NEEDS TO HAPPEN IS TO MAKE
SURE AT THE END OF THIS, WE
DON'T JUST GET SOMETHING LIKE
LET'S ALLOW PEOPLE TO VOTE BY
PHONE OR SOMETHING.
THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR
SOME FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE.
THE FINAL THING IS -- I THINK
ASK AGAIN I'M BELONG TO A
GROUP CALLED EQUAL VOICE.
NONPARTISAN, NATIONAL GROUP
TRYING TO ENCOURAGE MORE WOMEN
TO BE ELECTED.
ONE OF THE THINGS WE HAVE BEEN
ENCOURAGING THE GOVERNMENT TO
DO IS SAY ONE OF THE ISSUES
THEY WANT TO ADDRESS IN
DEMOCRATIC REFORM IS ADDRESS
GENDER.
THERE'S ONLY A QUARTER OF THE
SEATS IN THE HOUSE ARE WOMEN.
WE NEED MORE WOMEN IN THE
LEGISLATURE.
I THINK THAT SHOULD BE ONE OF
THE THINGS THEY LOOK WHY THE.
IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE
WHAT THE CITIZENS JURIES AND
ASSEMBLY COME UP WITH.

Steve says AS A FORMER ELECTED
PERSON DO YOU LIKE THE IDEA OF
GIVING UP SOME OF YOUR
INFLUENCE AND POWER TO A GROUP
OF ORDINARY CITIZENS MAKING
RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WILL BE
HAR TO SAY IN TO, BECAUSE THEY
HAVE THE LEFT OF BEING FROM
THE PEOPLE BEHIND THEM?

The caption changes to "Dave Cooke. Former NDP Cabinet Minister." He’s in his late forties, with short hair and clean-shaven. He’s wearing a blue shirt under a dark blue jacket.

Dave says I ASSUME WHAT THEY COME UP
WILL BE PRESENTED BY
REFERENDUM.
I THINK IT WILL BE DIFFICULT
TO DO IT BY THE ELECTED
MEMBERS.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHETHER
THOSE MEMBERS WOULD REFLECT
SEVERAL INTEREST OR WHETHER IT
WAS THE PERCEPTION OF THAT IS
WHAT THEY WOULD BE PUTTING
FORWARD.
WHAT I'M HAVING A BIT OF
DIFFICULTY AND JANET HAS
ANSWERED PART OF IT.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM THAT WE'RE
TRYING TO CURE?
YES, THERE IS PROBLEMS WITH
REPRESENTATION IN THE
LEGISLATURE.
NOT ENOUGH WOMEN, NOT ENOUGH
RACIAL MINORITIES.
THE LEGISLATURE STILL DOESN'T
LOOK LIKE THE ENTIRE PROVINCE.
THAT'S ONE OF THE PROBLEMS.
PERHAPS SOMETHING LIKE
PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTDATION
REPRESENTATION MIGHT HELP.
THERE ARE THINGS I BELIEVE IT
MIGHT CAUSE THAT WOULD BE MORE
DAMAGING, BUT I STILL BELIEVE
THAT'S NOT WHY PEOPLE ARE NOT
VOTING.

Steve says WHY AREN'T PEOPLE
VOTING?

Dave says I DON’T THINK PEOPLE ARE VOTING
BECAUSE I DON'T BELIEVE THEY
BELIEVE PARLIAMENT IS WORKING.
I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT
REAL PARLIAMENTARY REFORM.
I THINK THAT HAS GOT TO BE
PART OF IT.
IT IS JUST PLAYING WITH THE
EDGES.
HOW MPPS GET TO THE
LEGISLATURE, IN MY VIEW IS NOT
NEARLY AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT
HAPPENS ONCE THEIR THERE.

Steve says IS THE FOCUS ON THE
WRONG THING?

Laurel says I THINK THE FOCUS IS ON
BOTH OF THOSE ISSUES. THIS IS
AN ELECTORAL REFORM BUT THERE
IS DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW THE
PROCESS WORKS.
IS IT EFFICIENT.
DO CONSIT ENTS OF MINE
WATCHING ON TV.
DO THEY THINK THEY WANT ME TO
BE SITTING IN THE LEGISLATURE
UNTIL MIDNIGHT, HAVING THE
DEBATE THAT EXISTS?
ALL OF THOSE QUESTIONS ARE
QUESTIONS THAT NEED TO BE
ASKED AND I THINK ARE BEING
ASKED.
IN TERMS OF HOW DO YOU ELECT
PEOPLE.
I THINK IT IS SOMEWHAT STRANGE
WHEN PEOPLE SAY I'M CONCERNED
ABOUT A CITIZENS ASSEMBLY
MAKING SUCH A BIG DECISION.
THE CONSTITUENTS WENT TO THE
BALLOT BOX AND GAVE ME MY JOB.
AND SOME DAY THEY MIGHT TAKE
IT AWAY.
SO I LISTEN TO THEM.
THAT'S AN IMPORTANT PART OF
THE VOICE.
I AGREE THIS ARE OTHER REASONS
PEOPLE DON'T VOTE.
ONE OF THE THINGS I TRY TO DO
IS WORK WITH THE YOUTH FOR
EXAMPLE.
AND FIND OUT WHAT ISSUES DO
THEY CARE ABOUT.
AND THEN SAY THOSE VERY ISSUES
ARE DECIDED BY GOVERNMENTS.
GOVERNMENTS INFLUENCE.
FOR EXAMPLE, IN ENVIRONMENTAL
POLICY.
SO IF YOU'RE AN ACTIVIST IN
THE ENVIRONMENTAL SECTORS,
THEN YOU SHOULD CARE AND WANT
TO BE ENGAGED IN THE
DEMOCRATIC PROCESS AS WELL.

Steve says WHAT IF IT IS NOT
THE SYSTEM?
WHAT IF IT IS JUST A LACK OF
FAITH THAT IS KEEPING PEOPLE
AWAY?
THIS WILL ALL BE FOR NOT THEN,
RIGHT?

Laurel says THE SYSTEM.
THINK ABOUT IT.
YOU CAN GO TO THE BANK AT
MIDNIGHT AND RENEW YOUR
MORTGAGE OVER THE PHONE.
ONE OF THE THINGS YOU HEAR
ABOUT IS LISTEN, I'M REALLY
BUSY.
WHY DON'T WE FIND OUT ABOUT
ADVANCED POLLS AS -- SO WE CAN
MAKE--

Dave says I DON'T HEAR THAT.
I NEVER HEARD THAT AT THE
DOORSTEP NEARLY AS MUCH AND
EVEN WHEN I CANVASS FOR
CANDIDATES NOW.
WHAT I HEAR AT THIS DOORSTEP
IS WHAT'S THE -- WHAT'S THE
WORRY.
WHY BOTHER VOTING WHAT DOES IT
REALLY MATTER.
ASK I THINK YOU'VE GOT TO LOOK
AT CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM AND
WE'VE TALKED BY THIS ON THIS
PANEL AND SEAN IN PARTICULAR,
HAS TALKED ABOUT SOMETHING
COMPARABLE TO THE BUDGET
OFFICE.
WE NEED SOME INSPECT
INSTITUTIONS THAT HELP THE
OPPOSITION AND DARE I SAY THE
BACKBENCH LIBERALS BECAUSE
THEY'RE NOT PART OF THE
GOVERNMENT.
YOUR GOVERNMENT HAS MOVED TO
PUT SOME OF THESE PEOPLE INTO
CABINET COMMITTEES, WHICH I
THINK BLURRED THE WHOLE
SYSTEM.
WE NEED TO DIVIDE THE LEGTIVE
SYSTEM FROM THE GOVERNMENT,
FROM THE EXECUTIVE AND WE NEED
TO GET THOSE BACKBENCHERS AND
THE OPPOSITION MEMBERS HOLDING
PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE.
THAT'S THE ROLL OF PARLIAMENT
TO MAKE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE
AND HAVE EFFICIENT GOVERNMENT.
GOOD GOVERNMENT FOR THE
PEOPLE.
I DON'T THINK THAT THE
ORDINARY PERSON IN THIS
PROVINCE SEES THAT THE CURRENT
PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM IS
DELIVERING GOODS.

Janet says I THINK PART OF IT IS YEAH.
THERE'S THE PROCESS AND THAT'S
FAIR.
WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT, WHAT
DO PEOPLE THINK THEY'RE
GETTING WITH THAT VOTE?
ARE THEY GETTING A GOVERNMENT
GIVING THEM THE STRAIGHT
GOODS.
ARE THEY GIVING THE GOVERNMENT
THAT IS DOING WHAT THEY SAID
THEY WOULD DO.
I AGREE WITH THOSE WHO SAY
PART OF THE PROBLEM IS BECAUSE
THEY'RE GETTING SICK AND TIRED
OF POLITICIANS WHO ARE NOT
DOING WHAT THEY SAY THEY WOULD
DO.
FOR EXAMPLE, YOU KNOW, MIKE
HARRIS TURNED BO A MANTRA HE
WOULD DO WHAT HE SAID HE WOULD
DO.
THERE WAS A GREAT DEAL,
ENTHOSE WHO DIDN'T AGREE WITH
THEM.
THERE WAS A GREAT DEAL OF
POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT.

Steve says THE TURNOUT WAS
LOWER FOR THE SECOND ELECTION
ALTHOUGH HE DID WHAT HE SAID
HE WOULD DO THAN THE FIRST
ONE?

Janet continues LET'S LOOK AT VOTERS LISTS
I THINK THERE IS A VALID
QUESTION WHEN TALKING ABOUT
DECLINING TURNOUT.
IS THAT LIST ACCURATE?
THE LIST IS A MESS.

Steve says THE LIST IS A MESS.
EVERYONE KNOWS IT IS A MESS.

Janet continues WE NEED PEOPLE TO GO OUT
ASK SAY WE'RE PUTTING YOU ON
THE LIST.
IF YOU HAVE A WHOLE BUNCH OF
DEAD PEOPLE ON , IT OF COURSE
THE TURNOUT WILL DECLINE.

Steve says I CAN'T BELIEVE SEAN
HAS BEEN THIS QUIET THIS LONG.
I KNOW HE IS A TRADITIONALIST
AND THINKS IT HUEY.
YOU'RE SITTING THERE QUIETLY
NOT PARTICIPATING.

Sean says I HAVE TO PROVE TO MY
FRIEND LAUREL AND MY FELLOW
AUDIENCE I CAN SOMETIMES
BEHAVE.

Steve chuckles.

Sean says ONE THE COMMENTS
I WOULD MAKE--

Steve says DON'T CHANGE THE
SUBJECT.

Janet laughs.

Sean says BACK TO THE POINT I THINK
YOU MADE STEVE, IF I LOOK AT
WHY PEOPLE ARE NOT VOTING THE
LAST MAYORALTY ELECTION I
CAN'T REMEMBER MORE ACTIVE
CAMPAIGN.
SEVERAL CANDIDATES,WELL
FINANCES AND ORGANIZED 35 percent.

Steve says NOT GREAT.

Janet says IT START WITH THE EDUCATION
IN SCHOOLS AS PART OF THE
CURRICULUM.
WE HAD CHANGED THE CURRICULUM
TO TRY TO HAVE CIVICS BACK
WHERE YOUNG STUDENTS LEARN THE
PROCESS AND HOW THEY SHOULD BE
INVOLVED.
WHY THEY SHOULD BE INVOLVED.
A LOT OF TEACHERS BRING
POLITICIANS INTO THE SCHOOLS
TO TALK TO THE STUDENTS, BUT
THEY USED TO RUN THEIR OWN
ELECTIONS.
SO STUDENTS GOT INTO IT TO SEE
WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT.
THAT'S ONE PLACE YOU START.

Steve says LAUREL, I WANT TO TALK MONEY
IF YOU CAN.

Laurel says SURE.

Steve continues ONE OF THE REASONS IT DIDN'T
GET DISCUSSED A LOT WAS THE
10,000 A PERSON THE
FUND-RAISER THAT THE PREMIER
AND THE FINANCE MINISTER HAD.
IF YOUR CITIZENS JURIES COME
BACK AND SAY ALL OF THIS
FUNDRAISING IS BRINGING AN
UNBECOMING AMOUNT OF SLEAZE TO
PUBLIC LIFE.
THE BEST WAY TO FUND ELECTION
CAMPAIGN THROUGH PUBLIC
FINANCING, WOULD THE GOVERNMENT
HAVE THE GUTS TO DO THAT?

Laurel says I THINK WE WOULD HAVE TO
LISTEN TO WHAT THE CITIZENS
JURY SAY.
MY EXPERIENCE IN FUNDRAISING
AND POLITICS PEOPLE COME TO
SUPPORT THE PROCESS WHETHER
THEY SUPPORT THE LIBERAL
POLICIES OR NOT THEY SUPPORT
ME.
THEY WANT TO HAVE GOOD PEOPLE
IN GOVERNMENT.
IN TERMS OF 10 THANK YOU A
PLATE FUNDRAISING I THINK A
LOT WAS MADE OF THAT EVENT.
FUND-RAISERS ARE NOT
SECRETIVE.
BUT SOME ARE ADVERTISED IN THE
PAPER.
SOME ARE NOT.
EVERYONE AROUND THE TABLE,
PERHAPS EXPECT YOU HAVE RAISED
MONEY.
WE HAVE ASKED PEOPLE FOR THE
MONEY.
I HAVEN'T GOTTEN 10,000 A
PLATE, MIND YOU--

They laugh.

Laurel smiles and continues BUT YOU NEVER
KNOW.
AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO ASK
PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE
PROCESS.
I THINK WE WILL HAVE TO SEE.
IF THE CITIZENS THINK THEY
WANT THEIR TAX DOLLARS.

Steve says THEY ALREADY ARE.
TAX CREDITS, THEY PAY FOR A
LOT ALL RIGHT.

Laurel says IT IS NOT THE SAME.

Dave says JANET, THERE IS NO ONE THAT IS
SUGGESTING THAT THERE BE NO
PRIVATE FUNDS INVOLVED AT ALL.
THE ARGUMENT THAT MANY HAVE
USED IS ELIMINATE UNION AND
CORPORATE DONATIONS.
INDIVIDUALS CAN STILL
PARTICIPATE.

Laurel says BUT THIS 10,000 FUND-RAISER
I UNDERSTAND THERE WERE A LOT
OF INDIVIDUALS.

Dave says YOU CAN'T HONESTLY COME AND
TALK TO YOUR CONSTITUENTS AND
THINK THAT THE ORDINARY VOTER
WOULD LOOK AT THAT 10,000
EVENT AND NOT SCRATCH THEIR
HEAD AND SAY IT LOOKS SLEAZY.
IT MIGHT BE COMPLETELY LEGAL.

Janet says WE'VE HAD FUNDING SCANDALS
IN POLITICS SINCE JOHN A
McDONALD AND THE RAILWAY.

Laurel says EXACTLY.

Janet says THOSE ARE NOT --

Laurel says MISTER DEGASPERIS
WENT TO THE EVENT AND WAS
DISAPPOINTED BECAUSE HE DIDN'T
GET WHAT HE WANTED.
SO I THINK IT EXACTLY
DISPROOVES THE POINT THAT YOUR’RE
MAKING.

Dave says THAT’S NOT THE POINT.
I'M NOT SUGGESTING THAT
THERE IS ANY CORRUPTION INVOLVED.
I'M SAYING THAT THE SYSTEM
LOOKS BAD
AND REINFORCES PEOPLE’S
CYNICISM.

Laurel says A LOT OF US COULD NEVER
IMAGINE GIVING 10,000.
I COULDN'T, BUT THAT'S PART OF
IT.
YOU COULDN'T IMAGINE SOMEONE
GETTING THAT MUCH.

Dave says YOU DON'T THINK IT IS BAD
FORM?

Laurel says I DON'T -- .

Smiling, Dave says YOU DON’T THINK
THAT WHEN WE ARE TALKING ABOUT
THE GREEN BELT AND DEVELOPMENT
THAT THIS MIGHT NOT BE
THE SMARTEST THING TO DO?

Laurel says I THINK IT EFFECTS EVERYONE
AROUND THIS TABLE HAS BELONGED
TO A PARTY WHO RAISED MONEY.

Steve says LET'S KEEP IT ON THE
DEMOCRATIC RENEWAL.
THE CITY OF TORONTO IS
CONSIDERING AN IDEA OF GIVING
THE VOTE TO NONE CITIZENS,
BECAUSE THEY PAY TAXES AND
HAVE A STAKE IN THINGS AND
GIVING THE VOTE TO PEOPLE AS
YOUNG AS 16 YEARS OF AGE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THOSE
IDEAS?

Laurel says I THINK THEY ARE GOOD
DISCUSSIONS, WE'LL HAVE TO SEE
WHEN OUR CITIZENS ASSEMBLY
BRINGS FORWARD TO BRING UP THE
ISSUES, RAISING THE ISSUES IN
THE SCHOOL.
I GO TO GRADE FIVE AND GRADE
TEN AND 11.
AND THERE ARE KIDS VOTE CANADA
ENGAGING YOUNG PEOPLE.
ONE OF THE ISSUES YOU DO HEAR.
I THINK IT COMES A LITTLE BIT
OF THE HISTORY OF THE LAST
ELECTION.
IRAN IN 1999 I LOST.
I HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE WORKING
HARD TO UNSEAT A GOVERNMENT
AND THEN FELT THEIR VOICE WAS
NOT HEARD, BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T
SEE REFLECTED IN THE
GOVERNMENT.
YOU CAN GET A BIG MAJORITY
GOVERNMENT THAT DON'T SUPPORT
YOU.
THAT'S ONE OF THE ISSUES.

Steve says SPEAKING OF VOICES
NOT HEARD.
LET'S HEARD ABOUT THE NORTH.
THEY THINK THEIR VOICE IS
UNDERREPRESENTED AND NOT
HEARD.
I'M INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT
YOUR BILL WOULD PROVIDE FOR A
LOT OF RIDINGS IN NORTHERN
ONTARIO, REGARDLESS OF WHAT
HAPPENS TO THE POPULATION OR
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE
POPULATION THAT IS.
THAT'S A FLOOR BELOW WHICH YOU
WOULD NOT GO.
SOME HAVE SUGGESTED THAT IT
HAS AS MUCH TO DO WITH MAKING
SURE THE NORTH IS WELL
REPRESENTED AND THE THAT WAS
FACT THAT LIBERALS WIN A LOT
OF SEATS UP THERE AND TORIES
DON'T WIN ANY.

Laurel says I'M NOT ENVIOUS OF MY
COLLEAGUES AND THE VAST
DISTANCE THEY HAVE.
YOU THINK HOW CAN YOU REALLY
REPRESENT YOUR CONSTITUENTS
WHEN YOU HAVE TEN LITTLE CITY
OR TOWNS YOU HAVE TO HAVE
OFFICES.
I DON'T KNOW.
I HAVE A GEOGRAPHIC AREA WHERE
I'M ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE.
I THINK IT IS MAKING SURE THAT
MEMBERS ARE ACCESSIBLE TO A
PART OF OUR PROVINCE THAT IS
NOT GREAT IN POPULATION, BUT
VAST IN SIZE.

Dave says THE GUARANTEE OF 15 SEATS
WHEN IT WAS A130 SEATS IN
PARLIAMENT.

Janet says GETTING BACK TO YOUR POINTS
OF CITIZENS AND THAT.
I THINK THIS IS PART OF THE
PROBLEM OF THE DEMEANING OF
THE VALUE OF WHAT VOTING IS
ALL ABOUT.
EVEN TO HAVE THAT DISCUSSION.
YOU SHOULD BE A CITIZEN OF THE
COUNTRY.
I'M SORRY.
THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A
CITIZEN, TO EXERCISE JUDGEMENT
ABOUT YOUR GOVERNANCE WITHOUT
GETTING TOO MELODRAMATIC.
PEOPLE ARE DYING AROUND THE
WORLD FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF
GOING IN THE BALLOT BOX AND
PUTTING AN X THERE.
IT IS AN IMPORTANT KIM BOL.
STUDENTS NEED TO KNOW THAT AND
EVERYONE NEEDS TO CONDUCT
THEMSELVES WITH THE RESPECT
FOR THE ORDER.

Steve says 16 OLD ENOUGH TO DRIVE,
SHOULDN’T BE ABLE
TO VOTE?

Janet says II'M RELUCTANT, I THINK WE
SHOULD HAVE A SERIOUS LOOK AT.
I HAVE HAD WONDERFUL FOLKS
INVOLVED IN MY CAMPAIGN
WHO WERE 16 AND
17.
AND WONDERFUL DISCUSSIONS OF
STUDENTS IN SCHOOL.
I THINK WE SHOULD TAKE A LOOK
AT THAT.

Dave says MAYBE TO SEE IF WE COULD
GET 18 TO 30-YEAR OLDS TO VOTE
BEFORE ADDING 16-YEAR OLDS.

Janet says THAT'S A VALID POINT.

Steve says LAUREL, YOU HAVE
INTRODUCED THE BILL.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

Laurel says WELL, WE'RE LOOKING TO THE
ELECTORIAL OFFICER OF ONTARIO
TO START GETTING THE CITIZENS
ASSEMBLY TOGETHER.
I THINK WE ARE PLEASED TO HAVE
A MORE EXTENSIVE DIALOGUE
ABOUT WHAT QUESTIONS EXIST OUT
THERE.
WE HAVE A DIALOGUE AT CAUCUS
AND IN MY OWN COMMUNITY.
A LOT OF IDEAS WILL COME
FORWARD AND ASK SOME
INTERESTING AND CHALLENGING
QUESTIONS FOR ALL OF US.

Steve says THANK YOU FOR COMING
TO TVO AND HAVING PART OF THE
ISSUE ON OUR SET.
UP NEXT, WE CRUNCH THE NUMBERS
AS THE LIBERALS COUNTDOWN THE
SECOND BUDGET.

A clip plays.

The caption changes to "Greg Sorbara. Ontario Finance Minister." Greg is in his sixties, clean-shaven with gray hair.

Speaking to the press, Greg says WE SET OUT A BUDGET AND
DEFICIT REDUCTION PLAN IN THE
LAST BUDGET.
JOHN, WE WILL REVISIT THAT IN
THE NEXT BUDGET.
I WILL NOT SPECULATE.

A Female Journalist asks ARE YOU STILL COMMITTED?

The clip ends.

Steve says SEAN, BECAUSE YOU
WERE SO WELL BEHAVED I WOULD
LIKE YOU TO READ BETWEEN THE
LINES.
WHAT DOES "REVISITING THE
DEFICIT REDUCTION PLAN" MEAN?

Sean says I DON'T KNOW.
IT MIGHT MEAN THE
CIRCUMSTANCES GOING INTO THE
MID-PART OF 2005, ARE A BIT
DIFFERENT THAN THEY WERE 18
MONTHS AGO.
I THINK PRUDENT FINANCE
MINISTERS AND GOVERNMENTS WANT
TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF CHANGED
CIRCUMSTANCES.
ONE OF THE MISTAKES THE EVES
ECKER GOVERNMENT IN 2002 --

Steve says IT WAS HARRIS EVES?

Sean says JANET WAS FINANCE MINISTER.
LARGELY THROUGH NO FAULT OF
THEIR OWN, 2003 WAS A TERRIBLE
YEAR.
NO ONE PLANNED ON SARS.
NO ONE PLANNED ON THE --

Janet says BUT SEAN, WHEN YOU PUT
BUDGETS TOGETHER THOUGH, YOU
DO IT KNOWING THAT THERE'S UP
SIDES AND DOWN SIDES, THAT
YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE
FLUXATIONS LINCOLN TINGESY
FUNDS AND RESERVE FUNDS TO
HAVE THAT CUSHION BUILT IN.
I THINK THE CONCERN, THE
FINANCE MINISTER IS IN A
DIFFICULT POSITION.
THEY DON'T HAVE A LOT OF ROOM
TO MANEUVER, FRANKLY, NOTHING
TODAY IS CHANGED FROM WHAT
THEY KNEW WHEN THEY MADE THE
PROMISES OF BEFORE THE
ELECTION.

Sean says NO, THAT'S SIMPLY NOT TRUE.
THAT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE.

Janet continues NO.
JUST A SECOND.

Sean says WE HAVE A CANADIAN DOLLAR
AT 83 CENTS.

Janet continues THE DIFFICULTY WITH MEETING
HEALTH AND EDUCATION I
AGREEING TO GO TO OTTAWA
SAYING WE WANT MORE MONEY FROM
OTTAWA.
ALL OF THE PRESSURES AND TREND
LINES WERE THERE WHEN THEY
SAID -- MADE THE PROMISES ON
THE BUDGET.
THE SECOND THING OF CONCERN,
WE HAVE AN ECONOMIC SLOW DOWN.
ON ONE HAND, YES, THE ECONOMY
GOES UP AND DOWN.
AGAIN, YOU KNOW THAT IS THE
PONLT.
WHEN YOU RAISE TAXS, RAISE
ELECTRICITY PRICES AND THE
MINIMUM WAGE AND A LOT OF
THINGS YOU'RE HAVING AN IMPACT
ON THE ECONOMICS AS WELL.

Sean says THEY RAISED ELECTRIC
PRICES BECAUSE WHAT IT’D
HAPPENED IN 2002--

Janet says I UNDERSTAND THAT.

Janet and Sean speak at the same time.

Sean says WE HAD A BILLION COSTS OF
TRUE COST ON THE DEBT LINE.
I AGREE THINGS DO CHANGE.

IT WAS INTERESTING WHAT
THE CHIEF ECONOMIST FOR THE
ROYAL BANK CRAIG WRIGHT SAID
THIS WEEK.
HE SAID THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS
TO BE CAREFUL IT DOESN'T
OVERREACT.
IT CAN MAKE THE SITUATION
WORSE.
HE CAUTIONED BALANCE.

Steve says ONTARIO IS ON TRACK
TO GROW ITS WAY OUT OF THE
FISCAL CHALLENGES, WHICH
DOESN'T SOUND LIKE YOU HAVE TO
HAVE HUGE TAX INCREASES OR
SPENDING CUTS.

Janet says A 3 PERCENT GROWTH
WITH A HEALTH BUDGET
THAT’S GROWING, HEALTH
INFLATION IS WHAT, 6-8
PERCENT,
THE DRUG PLAN IS 10 TO 15 percent.
AT 34 percent GROWTH IN THE ECONOMY.
NO, WE'RE NOT GOING TO GROW OUR
WAY OUT OF PROBLEMS.
THEY ARE TOUGH DECISIONS.

Steve says LET ME GET DAVE
COOKE.
BECAUSE OF THE RULING OF THE
PROVINCIAL AUDITOR.
ALL OF THE HYDRO STUFF.
THE DEFICIT WILL NOT BE 2.6
BILLION, BUT 6 BILLION DOLLARS.
IS IT POSSIBLE WITHOUT MAJOR
SPENDING CUTS OR MAJOR TAX
INCREASES WHETHER IT IS
POSSIBLE FOR THE LIBERALS TO
FILL THE ELECTION PLEDGE TO
BALANCE THE BOOKS IN THE FIRST
TERM?

Dave says THIS IS THE PROBLEM.
THEY SAID THEY ARE NOT GOING
TO RAISE TAXES LAST YEAR WHEN
THE BUDGET CAME ANY WITH WE
HAD THE DISCUSSION WHETHER THE
TAX INCREASE WOULD BE
ADEQUATE.
AT THIS POINT IN TIME WE DON'T
HAVE A TAX BASE TO SUPPORT
OUR- PROGRAMMES IN ONTARIO.
THERE'S NOT ENOUGH.
I AGREE WITH JANET.
THE PROMISE WAS MADE BY THIS
GOVERNMENT.
THEY DID NOT SAY WE WILL
DELIVER THIS, IF WE GET 5
BILLION DOLLARS OR MORE FROM THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
THEY SAID THEY WOULD DELIVER.
THEY HAVE A PROBLEM.
I DON'T THINK IT CAN BE DONE,
ALL THEY CAME TO THE
DECISION, PROBABLY POLITICLY
CORRECT, THAT YOU CAN
POLITICLY YOU CAN SURVIVE BY
INCREASING THE DEFICIT OR
LIVING WITH THE DEFICIT THAN
WITH RAISING TAXES MORE.

Sean says I THINK WE WANT TO SEE WHAT
MINISTER SORBARA ANNOUCES
IN THE NEXT BUDGET IN FIVE OR
SIX WEEK'S TIME.
HE HAD SAID HE WILL GIVEN AN
ACCOUNT OF HOW THIS YEAR HAS
CONCLUDEED I THINK THERE'S
BEEN SOME DEBATE IN THE PUBLIC
PRESS, THAT THE NUMBER MAY NOT
BE 6 BILLION DOLLARS.

Dave says BUT THERE'S A CONTINGENCY--

Sean says THERE'S A CONTINGENCY FUND.

Steve says IS THERE ANY WAY TO
BALANCE THE BOOKS BY 2007?

Sean says IT WILL BE TOUGHER.
THE ROYAL ECONOMIST BANK ARE
SAYING THEY'RE SUGGESTING THE
BROAD BASE OF LIBERAL VOTERS
IN ONTARIO WOULD SAY, LISTEN
WE WANT PRUDENT MANAGEMENT OF
THE PUBLIC FINANCES ON THE ONE
HAND, BUT WE DON'T WANT YOU TO
BE SINGLE MINDED BECAUSE
JACKET AND WE ALL KNOW WE
CANNIBALLANCE THE BOOK
TOMORROW, BUT AT A PRICE TO
PUBLIC SERVICES FOR WHICH
THERE IS NO SUPPORT.

Steve says GO AHEAD JANET.

Janet says THE OTHER THING THAT THEY
HAVE DIFFICULTY WITH, IS
YOU'RE RIGHT.
PEOPLE CAN BE A LITTLE MORE
FLEXIBLE ON DEFICITS THESE
DAYS, A LITTLE MORE THAN THEY
WERE, THE PROBLEM THAT I THINK
THE PROBLEM HAS IS THEY DIMAKE
A PROMISE.
AGAIN THEY TREAD THAT PATH
BEFORE.
THAT IS A PROBLEM.
THE OTHER THING IS THEY MIGHT
GET FORGIVENESS ON THE DEFICIT
ON BREAKING THE DEFICIT
PROMISE IF THEY DELIVER ON
HEALTH AND EDUCATION.
THAT IS NOT EASY TO DO.

Dave says JUST TO DO WHAT THEY HAD
ALREADY PROMISED AT THE
ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY
LEVEL.
THEY HAVE TO PLUG IN ANOTHER
BILLION.
THE LEADERSHIP OF THE ONTARIO
SECONDARY SCHOOLTEACHERS
FEDERATION, THEIR CONVENTION A
COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, THE
PRECEDENCE STAYS THE SAME THE
REST OF THE EXECUTIVES TAKEN
OVER BY MORE AGGRESSIVE
LEADERSHIP.
THE EXPECTATIONS ARE TOUGH.

Sean says NO QUESTION, THERE ARE SOME
TOUGH CHOICES WITH HEALTH
APPROACHING 50 percent OF THE
PROGRAMME BUDGET AND GROWING
WELL OVER THERE ARE SOME REAL
CHALLENGES BUT DALTON McGUINTY
AND GREG SOBARA HAVE TO BE
CONCERNED AND PITCH TO LIBERAL
AND LIKELY LIBERAL VOTERS AND
I THINK THEY WILL AGREE WITH
THAT.
THEY WOULD SAY, LISTEN, BE
PRUDENT, BUT DON'T BE SILLY
AND MAKE A BAD SITUATION
WORSE.

Dave says I WISH THOSE ECONOMISTS ARE
AS UNDERSTANDING WHEN WE WERE
THERE.

Steve chuckles and says THEY WEREN’T,
WERE THEY?

Dave says NO, THEY WEREN’T.

Pointing at each of them, Steve says SEAN CONWAY, JANET
ECKER AND DAVE COOKE,
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP ON
THIS ONE THIS WEEK,
WE’LL SEE AGAIN NEXT WEEK.
AND THAT'S
"4TH READING" FOR THIS WEE.
I’M STEVE PAIKIN,
UNTIL NEXT SUNDAY.
THANK YOU.

Music plays and the end credits roll.

Queen's Park Bureau Chief, Susanna Kelley.

Producer, Erica Balch.

Director, Bill Elliot.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2005, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Democratic Deficit