A rebuttal on pro rep

Re: 17% plus 2 Can Determine BC’s Voting System- Gerrymandering Will Follow – Bob McLean

Mr. McLean is incorrect in his mathematical analysis of the results of referendum on electoral reform. He states that if the referendum passes by 51% then BC’s new voting system would be determined by 1.7% of BC residents.

Wrong! Question # 1 determines whether we keep first past the post, FPTP, or change to proportional representation, PR. This will be determined by a minimum of 50% +1.

McLean arrives at his 1.7% figure by faulty logic, by looking at the total number of voters in BC. If he followed that faulty logic in any elections, he’d have local, provincial and federal representatives elected by similar small percentages.

Secondly, he assumes that the results of the 2nd question, the one on PR options, will be determined by FPTP. Not true. The result will be determined by looking at preferences, just as does the nomination process for provincial and federal candidates.

Drop off the bottom vote getter and give the 2nd and 3rd choices from that option to the remaining two. The option that then has the most votes wins. The nomination process for the Conservative candidate for the Kootenay-Columbia riding was done that way.

Which begs the question, if FPTP is such a good system, why was this not used in this case? Under FPTP, Ms. Morrison would have won.

McLean then mistakenly brings up the spectre of gerrymandering, where vested interests rig electoral boundaries to give their party the advantage in elections. McLean is perhaps not aware that there will be no gerrymandering. There is a non-partisan Electoral Boundaries Commission that sets riding boundaries every 10 years, based on population.

When it comes to riding size, McLean needs to read the Voter Guide sent out to every voter. He will see that rural areas will elect a candidate as they do now and riding boundaries will not change. What will change is that voters will have more than one MLA to represent them.

Currently, under FPTP, a voter has only 1 MLA and that person may not represent the voter because the MLA may be from a different party. Under PR, a voter will have a choice of MLAs from different parties and will more likely find someone who shares the voter’s views. In 8500 votes in Victoria, in only 5 times did an MLA vote against his party.

To reiterate, McLean would do well to re-read the Voters Guide and to avail himself of all the information that is out there and to beware of the misinformation put out by the NO side.

Daryl Sturdy

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