LETTERS: Three views on the current referendum

17% plus 2 Can Determine BC’s Voting System- Gerrymandering Will Follow

It is possible that only seventeen percent of all persons who vote in the referendum can determine the future voting system in British Columbia. You ask, how can that be? Assume that Proportional Representation, (PR) gets 51% of the vote which is a possible outcome. Persons who voted for PR will select from one of three choices: MMP, DMP or RUP. If each choice is selected by equal numbers, the result is that each got 17%. Fifty-one divided by three is exactly seventeen. To break the tie, assume MMP and DMP each got 17% less one vote and RUP got 17% plus 2 votes.

Unquestionably, BC’s new voting system would then be RUP determined by 17% plus 2 while ignoring that forty-nine per cent voted for (FPTP) First Past the Post. Now consider if only 10% of all persons eligible vote, then 1.7% of BC residents would determine BC’s voting system. If you do not want to wake up, wondering what the heck happened, be sure to mail in your ballot and only vote to keep First Past the Post. Do not fall for the trap of “what you would prefer if you cannot have FPTP.”

If that is not enough reason to vote for FPTP, be aware that “Gerrymandering is certain to follow if PR is the outcome.” Gerrymandering is an old political strategy to ensure the party in power stays in power. Using Wikipedia’s description, “it is a practice to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries.” If PR happens for BC, whichever system is selected will result in significant changes to our current provincial voting districts. The certainty is spelled out by Elections BC. Combined with the districts being Gerrymandered will be disruptive changes to how many representatives will be assigned to the newly created districts.

Not only will it be a mystery regarding how many representatives the new districts will have, it is still to be announced regarding how they will be determined. Will your representative be the candidate with the most votes in your district? Will your representative be someone from another district and who is from the least popular party in your district but the most popular party province wide who needs to be assigned to somewhere? If you want sanity, stability and progress, be sure to vote for “First Past the Post” and stop there.

Bob McLean

Kimberley, BC

The upcoming vote on the proposal to change our election system is an opportunity not to be missed. After serving twelve years as your Member of the Legislative Assembly I am certain Proportional Representation would be an improvement for citizens in British Columbia.

Some will say Proportional Representation is not perfect but it is still a significant improvement over what now exists. Proportional Representation elects a Legislative Assembly that accurately reflects the intentions of voters. If you believe in the idea that wisdom resides in the public as a whole then being true to voters in an election is always what is most important.

Proportional Representation is a positive step forward. Please give it your support.

Norm Macdonald

MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke 2005-2017

Proportional Representation can be simple!

Politicians don’t like PR because it reduces their power. Business doesn’t like it because it makes it more difficult to lobby and have their way.

We are presented with different options for PR to confuse the issue, in the hope that if we don’t understand, we will go with the same old FPTP. That’s what most the politicians want, just look at the letters to the editor from current and past politicians.

It should be simple.

Do you want PR, Yes or No, then let the elected officials figure out how to do it.

The end result should be that if a party gets 2% of the popular vote province wide, that party should get a seat in the house to represent that segment of the population.

If a party gets 35% of the popular vote, that party gets 35% of the seats and so on.

Regional representation is only an optics promoted by the existing political parties, because when push comes to shove, the elected representatives are forced to vote along party lines even if the constituents disagree, so where is the local representation then?

Politicians worry about Minority Governments, but history shows that Minority Governments have always served a larger number of constituents, because it involves cooperation and collaboration of the legislator.

Democracy has many forms. China, Russia, North Korea and just about every other country in the world call themselves Democracies, but they are all Democracy by Representation and most of them

are dictatorships.

The oldest Democracy still functioning is Iceland, since the 10th Century and the second o

ldest is Switzerland since the 13th Century; both countries have been doing well for centuries. In fact Switzerland has always been a Direct Democracy (Google it) and has enjoyed one of the highest living standards, very low personal income tax and a low crime rate for as long as I can remember.

It’s time for a change, vote YES for Proportional Representation and let the politicians figure out a fair and equitable way, it’s that simple. There are many examples to show how it works.

Jori Adank

Kimberley

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