VOTE ON PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION (PR).

 

This posting is not addressed to any party affiliation or persuasion, be you NDP, Green, or BC Liberal but rather to a common-sense concern for future generations of our kids-and their kids who could be left with a system of government (PR) that suits not the governed (us, the voters) but rather those who govern (the politicians).

 

In my opinion, what is being proposed will be a disaster for BC, resulting in a system of government that looks like the ‘rainbow’ of party PR administrations attempting to run countries such as Bolivia, Lesotho, Germany (in which it took four months to form a government after the most recent election) and New Zealand (in which the Deputy Prime Minister was never elected, being simply appointed from a Party List). Two of the PR systems we are being asked to consider have never been used anywhere in the world. The third system being considered is only used in the four countries cited above. This is about a needless change to something (PR) that we do not need, away from something (First Past the Post-FPTP) that has served all levels of government in Canada for over 150 years; so why change now?

 

I urge you to research this matter yourself, however, listed below are 10 summary reasons that might concern you as they do me; they are:

 

  • The PR initiative is best and most easily described in 4 simple words; Risky, Convoluted, Confusing, Untested.

  • PR is extremely complicated while FPTP is incredibly easy and simple; under FPTP, whomever gets the most votes, wins.

  • Majority Governments (of whatever party you like/dislike) get things done and can be changed quite readily in future elections; PR will produce endless Minority Governments with many more parties than currently-and with endless policy log-jams being the result.

  • BC is widely believed to be one of the best places on earth to live, so WHY would we change all that we have and know for something that is; Unknown, Unproven and New?

  • PR shifts the focus from the voters to the political parties and their ‘operatives’; FPTP is the exact opposite.

  • Rural representation under FPTP ensures that those areas under-populated continue to have a meaningful voice; PR will centre power even more within the Lower Mainland than currently.

  • FPTP prevents small, single-issue, possibly radical political parties from having inordinate power as would be the case in a PR system-in which such parties’ support could be needed to keep a government from collapsing (& thereby forcing unwanted/untimely general elections).

  • Your local MLA in FPTP is accountable first to his/her constituents (before their party or its leadership); this would not be so in a PR system wherein Voting Lists of MLAs unknown to you, might actually end up getting your vote-even though not your voting intention.

  • Significantly, British Columbians voted down PR in two referendums in the past 13 years, so why we are having yet another one? Is it because certain politicians desperately want more control over the democratic process?

  • FPTP can best be described in only 3 simple words; Simple, Stable, Successful.


I hope you find this brief memo about the choice between FPTP (existing) and PR (proposed) somewhat helpful, irrespective of your party-affiliation. Regardless of how you decide to vote, I sincerely hope you will exercise your right-to-vote. The ballot must be returned no later than Nov 30th.


If you are in favour, like I am, of the existing system, this is simply accomplished by answering QUESTION 1: (as pictured below) with a black ‘dot’ designating your choice as being:


THE CURRENT FIRST PAST THE POST VOTING SYSTEM.


QUESTION 2: regarding PR is then not necessary to answer if you do not want to. But you are free to also rank these three options, in addition to answering in favour of FPTP, if that’s what you wish. I will be leaving the Question 2 options entirely blank.


Sam Gudewill, Chairman.