LETTER: Not implementing electoral reform is a bigger waste of money

Dear editor,

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.

Spencer Stubbins

Campbell River

Just Posted

Courtenay petition to decriminalize all drugs continues to collect signatures

A Courtenay couple is collecting signatures for their petition to decriminalize drugs in Canada

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

Comox residents question redevelopment at emotionally-charged meeting

About 40 people filled the d’Esterre House in response to a community consultation meeting.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Courtenay receives second application for cannabis shop

Just one resident spoke at a Tuesday public hearing in Courtenay council… Continue reading

Most Read