LETTER: Beef against proportional representation more scare tactics than anything

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

Charles Hawkswell, Commander, of the Cape Lazo Power and Sail Squadron, presents a $1,000 cheque to the Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society. File photo
Comox removing moorage fees, hydro for Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society

Last year, the unit and society responded to more than 50 rescue missions in the past year

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Richard Daniel Vigneault was arrested without incident and faced 16 counts

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

UPDATED: Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Danielle Egilson has been awarded a $40,000 post-secondary scholarship with The Cmolik Foundation. Photo supplied
Student from Courtenay’s Vanier Secondary lands prestigious scholarship

Cmolik Foundation provides opportunities for youth who’ve experienced adversity

Poverty is a sad reality for some people in the Comox Valley. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Project takes a hard look at poverty in the Comox Valley

Objective is to reduce poverty in the Comox Valley by 25 per cent over four years

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read