Letter: Proportional Representation is just plain fairer

Letter: Proportional Representation is just plain fairer

The No side is desperate to make you believe Proportional Representation is bad.

The No side is desperate to make you believe Proportional Representation is bad. Let’s take a look at some of their arguments.

False comparisons: Italy is a false comparison in the Proportional Representation debate for an important reason: Italy & Israel are the only two countries that do not drop the bottom few per cent of votes to secure stability — thence unstable governments and dangerous splinter parties. All of the proposed systems in B.C. will drop the bottom 5 per cent of the vote, limiting the risk and influence of splinter parties.

Stability: We have had many minority governments in Canada who formed the government and produced great outcomes, Medicare being one example. Minorities, however, are less stable than Prorep coalitions because Prorep fosters a culture of cooperation, whereas our current system polarizes politicians.

In Sweden they are taking some time to form the government because the main parties refuse to cooperate with the ultra-right racist party — so very different from the ‘big tent’ parties that our current system, FPTP, creates.

Currently, under FPTP (First Past the Post), extremist splinters within a ruling party can create havoc with societies and economies — just like Doug Ford in Ontario and the Tea Party and Trump in the Republican Party.

Cooperation and less corruption: In Sweden, we see an example of the power of PR to induce cooperation, negotiation and accountability between parties. The need to reach and maintain power via mutual respect supercedes the need to satisfy lobbyists and big donors. The parties must continue to work with each other and be accountable to each other to maintain govt. Conversely, FPTP breeds polarization, corruption and powerful lobbyists.

Regional Influences: Proportional representation virtually eliminates “orphan ridings” (aka unwinnable ridings that parties ignore under FPTP) and strengthens regional influences. When parties need every per cent they can get, they become far more accountable to voters across regions and the province as a whole.

Please support PR4BC. We could have a province as wealthy, caring and accountable as the Nordic countries and New Zealand.

Jessica Van der Veen