Re: Electoral Reform is a waste of taxpayers’ money (letter to the editor, Jan. 9)
If we are interested in saving taxpayers’ money, let’s consider the bigger picture of how our government operates under first past the post.
$95 million is what BC taxpayers lost when the NDP government decided to scrap the proposed bridge replacement of the Massey tunnel in Vancouver. There was $66 million already spent on reports, $4 million to compensate the companies for their aborted bids and another $25 million in studies by BC Hydro.
If that sounds like a steep price tag consider how close the NDP came to cancelling the Site C dam project. $2 billion had already been spent on the project, and still the government considered cancelling it. While the project is going ahead, this re-evaluation did cost millions of dollars and several months of delays.
This isn’t a comment on B.C.’s NDP government alone, Liberal governments have done the same when they’ve come to power in the past. Sadly, taxpayers have become used to abrupt policy changes whenever a government changes.
Under a first past the post electoral system this will continue to happen and continue to cost taxpayers a lot of money.
While many say that a proportional system will lead to perpetual minority governments, maybe we should look to see what happens when parties work together.
Politicians working together leads to more consistency in the direction of the government, rather than the ideological swings from left to right and back again we currently experience. It would also mean better co-operation between parties. Projects that are created with the input from more than one party won’t be immediately scrapped when the next government comes to power. It would reflect poorly on a party to cancel a project they had previously supported. More consistency will save our government time and money.
Mr. Blondel’s letter asserts that changing our electoral system will cost us money, but clearly not changing it will cost us a whole lot more.