Proportional Representation is the answer

To the Editor,

I would like to offer up my opinion on the future referendum on how we elect MLA's. For the past many years we have used the First Past the Post (FPTP) system which I think is very much outdated.

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It was created in the UK centuries ago when there were only two political parties Whigs and Tories. Liberals (federally) and Conservatives. In today’s electoral system there are three main parties and a few others. This allows what we know as a false majority. The vote could conceivably break down to 33 per cent, 33 per cent and 34 per cent so that the party with 34 per cent of the vote would have a majority of seats, thus all the power. They do not need to consult with the other members of the assembly because they have all the votes they need to pass legislation.

Why listen to other suggestions or improvements when you don't need to seems to be the way of majority governments? But they are not true majority governments. In the last four majority governments of B.C. more than 60 per cent of the people did not vote for that majority.

This imbalance of power leads to polarization and very inefficient governing. One party finishes a file to their satisfaction then the next government may very well throw it all out because it is not in their interest.

This has got to stop before we get into a situation like the U.S. where they limp from government to government and basically get nothing done.

Proportional Representation is the answer to this problem. There are only three western countries who still use FPTP; that is US, UK, and Canada. Are all the others wrong?

Opponents will say it leads to many parties and coalitions. Is this bad? Germany seems to be doing alright. The Scandinavian countries have a better standard of living than us and they use PR. Are they crazy? I think we are crazy to let the status quo stand for as many years as it has.

Let’s get governments that are made up of all sides of the political spectrum like the citizenry and get legislation that is best for the people not parties or corporations. Third world countries have the problem of corruption we have the same problem but we call it lobbying.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Laurence Gill,

Fountain Valley

 

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