LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Modernize voting system

Steps must now be taken to hone our traditional Canadian parliamentary representative governance

A Canadian-style proportional representation model can work for B.C., says letter writer. STOCK PHOTO

To the editor,

Provincial Liberal leadership candidates must serve 21st-century democracy.

Political parties and alliances are inevitable and a feature of practical governance. In the 21st century many more politicians accept the cornerstone of democracy – i.e. votes of equal value, power to all eligible. Mere plurality of party support may currently be the outcome of a secret ballot process such as our first-past-the-post, rendering now outdated but traditionally acceptable governance.

Steps must now be taken to hone our traditional Canadian parliamentary representative governance.

Separate rights for special groups can only be deemed fair, democratically acceptable if and when a majority of voters’ representatives support the many partisan measures to be enacted, not merely by plurality-winning party-endorsed members.

B.C.’s Green-NDP coalition campaigned to implement a more democratic electoral process; Canadian-style proportional representation. Canada was founded by leaders rather than by referendum. Modern communications provide the opportunity for more direct electors’ participation. Hopefully the recent special committee on electoral reform (ERRE) has left records of their recent thorough study of this issue, a potential bargain for B.C. taxpayers.

A democratically elected majority or coalition via greater competition and participation speaks for all. An enhanced democratic outcome via a Canadian pro rep electoral system is now due.

Martin Schotte, Parksville

To the editor,

British Columbia is a year away from voting on changing our electoral system. And already, the forces of the status quo, the people and parties that benefit from our current first-past-the-post system, are engaging in a campaign of deliberate misinformation.

They say our current system works, that no one else uses an alternative such as proportional representation and that the places that do are inherently unstable and lacking local representation.

In fact, first-past-the-post has resulted in a long series of messed-up elections, where a minority of votes for one party has resulted in a huge majority of the power. It has reduced the likelihood of something B.C. desperately needs: People working together to solve problems.

Proportional representation means that instead of always voting against what you don’t want, your vote is much more likely to elect a local person who believes in and will work for the things you care about. It is used all over the world in countries with stable governments, with more women sharing power and having a voice, and it more fairly translates votes into collaborative action and change.

The 2018 referendum is an opportunity to have a province-wide discussion about how we use our votes in elections to express ourselves and our beliefs. Starting a conversation like this with mistruths and distortions is a sure sign that the ‘no’ side is worried common sense is against them.

I believe history will be as well.

It’s time for PR in B.C.

Scott Colbourne, Gabriola Island

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