LETTER: Beef against proportional representation more scare tactics than anything

Dear editor,

Regarding the beef against proportional representation that ran in the April 10 edition of the Comox Valley Record:

The writer admits that proportional representation (PR) is fair in electing representatives according to the number of people who vote for them. Fairness, the beef writer claims, is a primary consideration. I agree.

The beef writer also states that PR will not answer all our governance problems.

But proportional representation will answer many of our governance problems.

According to the research, PR-elected governments are on average just as stable as those elected under First-Pass-The-Post (FPTP). There would probably be more coalitions and power-sharing agreements, but contrary to what the beef writer claims, these do not lead to any more frequent elections than does FPTP, because governments will be more likely to focus on co-operating than on who “wins” and who “loses.”

Research also shows that PR countries tend to have better environmental regulations (which we need desperately), stronger economies, and higher voter-turnout. Think of the Scandinavian countries, for example.

One scary story the beef writer repeats is that we would have more “fringe” parties represented in the legislature. But many proportional representation models demand a minimum threshold number of votes before a party could gain a seat. In 2013, some 1,813,912 British Columbians voted in the provincial election. If we had been voting in a PR system at that time and if the threshold number had been five per cent, about 90,000 people would have to vote for that fringe point of view in order for a fringe party to gain one seat at the political table. Is it possible? Sure. Is it probable? Not so much.

This “fringe” argument is simply a scare tactic to make us fear change.

Our present government has said it will offer us a PR system that is “made for BC.” We will still have local MLAs, and – most importantly – we will have more fair representation than with our current electoral system.

I will be voting yes to proportional representation in the referendum this year.

Wendy McNiven

Courtenay

Just Posted

School for students on Hornby Island ‘normal as can be’: portables expected in new year

While it’s not an ideal situation, the return to school for students… Continue reading

Christmas comes early for residents of Cumberland Lodge

It’s Christmas in September at Cumberland Lodge. The Rotary Club of Cumberland… Continue reading

Big Beach Cleanup builds awareness of ocean debris impacts

First two cleanup days brought in 40 cubic yards of plastic and styrofoam

Rain and high winds to hit Vancouver Island this afternoon

Thursday and Friday to see downpour of 20 to 50mm and high winds on Vancouver Island

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Most Read