LETTER: Germany and Italy examples are enough to steer voter away from proportional representation

Dear editor,

I am not in favour of Proportional Representation (PR).

PR advocates believe this system is “fair” because “every vote counts.” This only applies to the votes cast for the party or parties that actually form a government. (A single-party majority government is still possible with PR.)

Coalitions are common with PR and minority parties can have a disproportionate influence on government policy relative to their percentage of the popular vote (much like the Green Party in the current BC legislature).

PR encourages fringe parties. (The Rhinoceros Party earned one per cent of the popular vote in the 1980 Canadian federal election. A PR system would have given it at least three seats in the House of Commons.)

PR does not guarantee stable governments. Germany and Italy were without functioning federal governments for several months following their latest elections as the leading parties struggled to cobble coalitions together. (Germany had 38 different parties represented, Italy 28.)

The BC referendum is inherently unfair. Supporters of PR are given three options, supporters of FPTP only one.

I am in favour of the Preferential Ballot variation of FPTP, where a candidate must receive at least 50 per cent of the votes to be elected.

This option is not available so my only choice is to vote for the FPTP system we currently use.

Bill McLeod

Comox

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