Is the referendum a fair process?

Dear Editor,

The Proportional Representation (PR) referendum on changing our Provincial Electoral System has been discussed in one way or another for more than a year, which is a reasonable length of time for people to understand. The intent is to elect a government based on the number of votes it receives rather than by a majority of seats elected by one party.

A minority of British Columbians have elected through “First Past the Post (FPTP)” majority governments time and time again since B.C. became a province. This is not a progressive electoral system because it too often has created huge ideological swings in policy and legislation when a new government was elected. Such changes have often cost excessive and wasteful tax expenditures, causing anger, frustration, disillusion and cynicism amongst voters who more and more do not trust politicians.

Proportional Representation would force all the political parties to work together, likely through a minority Government. It is acknowledged it would probably take longer for legislation, policies and decisions to be made (under consensus) because more discussion and compromises would be expected. Under FPTP decisions are determined by the governing party.

Through a PR system decisions would commonly be more thoughtful and more compassionate resulting in wiser conclusions. They would gain greater public support as result of the solution driven approach compared to the current FPTP confrontational, ideological, majority ruling decisions which almost always favour the governing party position.

With climate change and environmental destruction becoming enormous issues along with the many complex social and economic issues all parties must work together for the good of our province, Canada and the world. Single party rule is not acceptable and in the long run will not work.

According to the “No Side” the referendum will provide the reining NDP/Green Party Coalition Provincial Government the power to tweak a new voting system driven by bias and an advantage for the two parties. “Not so”, because we are told that an “all party Standing Committee” of elected MLA’s will fine tune a new voting system through a consensus decision making process (PR) that British Columbians will have chosen through the referendum, which is as democratic as it can get and favours no one’s party position.

If given a chance “Proportional Representation” can reduce hostility and bad feelings resulting in more British Columbians working together for the good of all of its citizens — not just the privileged and money driven power in the hands of a few.

Jim Culp

Terrace, B.C.

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