Darrel Stinson was known for strong opinions as a Reform MP, but he was also compassionate and outgoing. (YouTube photo)

Darrel Stinson was known for strong opinions as a Reform MP, but he was also compassionate and outgoing. (YouTube photo)

Letter: Former MP on Prop Rep

From the get-go, I have been opposed.

As the former Member of Parliament in Okanagan Shuswap, many people have asked me what I think of proportional representation.

From the get-go, I have been opposed.

I am not one to mince words and at times I have been accused of not being politically correct. I take that criticism with a great deal of honour. I tell it like it is and this idea is a bad one.

Proportional Representation only benefits small and often unorganized parties that can never achieve broad-based support.

These political parties are unable to gain enough community support to represent a constituency, let alone govern the province we love.

I was elected four times under the first past the post system. The Reform Party did not advocate for proportional representation even though it was a small political party.

Instead, we captured the hearts and minds of the people. The party’s policies were developed by the membership of the party and gained widespread support.

The Green Party wants proportional representation because they want power now. Mr. Weaver should remember that the most successful small party (Reform Party of Canada) started with just one representative in the House of Commons. I’d like to point out as well that a political party (CAQ) formed in Quebec only seven years ago has just won a majority of seats in the National Assembly in a first past the post election. The system works.

Those that argue that P.R. provides everyone with an equal vote are wrong. It makes it so that small, even fringe parties have disproportionate power at the expense of the majority of voters. All these differing parties holding seats in Parliament make it much more difficult to form a majority government and equally difficult to get any business done.

The Fathers of Confederation had a great deal of wisdom and although first pat the post has flaws it is the best system in the world.

The public should do their research and make an informed decision.

As a former MP, I will be voting ‘No’ and encourage you to join me in keeping our voting system democratic.

Darrel Stinson