LETTER – Proportional representation gives too much power to smaller parties

Dear editor,

I have listened and read with interest to the current debate to change our electoral system.

My own views are that if we are to change our current system, the present process is flawed. I dare to suggest that most people are probably like me and know very little of proportional representation (PR). As it is now the NDP government wants us to “have faith” that they will “explain it later” if they are successful and win the current vote for PR.

I have little faith in any government to tell me what’s good for me. But who is actually pushing to have PR? Maybe the “Greens.” They know they have very little chance of ever winning a provincial election without a radical change. There is no doubt that under PR, the parties that get a small percentage of votes play a more prominent role, as every example of countries with PR shows. They have coalition governments, so who is actually running the government, the party that gets lots of votes but not enough to form government, or the party that gets very few votes but holds the balance of power? These parties can topple the government at any time if their agenda is not agreed to.

The biggest criticism I have heard about FPTP is the majority party rarely gets over 50 per cent of votes. Well personally I would rather have a government run by a party that gets 35 – 40 per cent of the vote (NDP, LIB or CON) to run my government, than have a party that gets 5 – 10 per cent (Greens) but holds balance of power and can leave coalition any time. Seems like a very unstable electoral system to me.

Kevin Bogdan

Comox

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