B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver speaks in the legislature, Oct. 29, 2017. (Hansard TV)

LETTER: I’m voting ‘yes’ to electoral reform

Tom Fletcher defends corporate-backed B.C. Liberals

Re: One coalition plotting to kill another (B.C. Views, Dec. 4)

Tom Fletcher is backing the two biggest faults with the political status quo – first-past-the-post (FPTP) elections and political financing.

Fletcher’s all for a corporate-bought B.C. Liberal party, which delivers its supporters with countless millions, while he claims that the province’s voters are getting taken advantage of with an unbiased per-vote public funding system. Astonishing!

He also favours a hugely flawed FPTP electoral system that greatly distorts election outcomes, skewing results to get a minority-supported party elected with a dictatorial, unbreakable but false majority, the usual outcome in our past elections. It doesn’t matter to him or to Liberals that many voters currently go unheard.

Fletcher includes the oft-used myth of those opposing electoral reform, saying that it will be the “conquest of rural BC.” Simply untrue! There are many made-in-BC features of proportional representation (PR) electoral systems which specifically address and actually improve rural representation, delivering both a local representative and a regional representative. PR will also allow non-B.C. Liberal i.e. ‘fringe’ voters an effective vote. Remember? One in six voters were B.C. Greens. They, along with all rural voters and other minorities, have a right to be heard and represented.

The take-away message is that Fletcher and all B.C. Liberal leadership candidates are uniformly opposed to fair and democratic processes in BC. Yes, PR likely means we will have minority or coalition governments. Which means communication, cooperation and collaboration among representatives who actually do have the support of the majority of BC voters.

In 2017, 57 per cent supported parties openly pledged to bring in PR, similar to the 58 per cent who supported PR in the referendum in 2005. Only anti-democratic B.C. Liberals and their supporters don’t think that kind of true majority should decide anything. They don’t believe other voices have a right to be heard and to contribute to decisions made by our government.

Well, this is a democracy and we all get a chance next year to say “yes” to fairer elections. Changes to provincial and federal elections are something desperately needed if we are to correct the downward spiral of modern democracy and politics.

Mark Jeffers, Victoria

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