LETTER: Proportional representation will fix a broken system

Dear editor,

I read with dismay the ill-informed letter from Norm Blondel on Jan. 9 regarding electoral reform (Electoral reform is a waste of taxpayers’ money). Where to start?

“If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it”….but, unfortunately, it is broken. How can any system where 40 per cent of the voters elect a dictatorial government, be considered fair? Justin Trudeau, in possibly his worst betrayal to those who voted for him, quickly shied away from sharing the power with other parties when he felt he was likely to gain another four years of complete power after the next election.

In B.C., the NDP and Liberals were in almost a dead heat, percentage-wise with about 40 per cent of the votes, but the Liberals gathered 43 seats and the NDP 41 seats, while the Greens, with 17 per cent of the votes were only awarded three seats. (Oh, and Mr. Blondel, this 17 per cent does not equate to the “Greens would have sunk into the obscurity the voters chose for them”).

Mr. Blondel also states: “we have a workable system given to us and most of the world’s democracies by the British Parliament.”

I guess he failed to do much research because if he did he would have found that of the 35 major democracies in the world, only six utilize our present first-past-the-post system. The others all use a form of proportional representation. In Western Europe, only three countries – France, the UK and Belarus – utilize a winner take all electoral system.

Why utilize proportional representation? A few reasons: every vote will actually count- if your preferred party gets 20 per cent of the votes, they will get 20 per cent of the seats. Every region will have MLAs in government, which is not the case in FPTP. Political parties will have to co-operate, as the NDP and Greens are doing now so we end up with fairer decision-making.

Power is shared….and there are no dictators. I am thinking our neighbour to the south might wish they were not utilizing a winner take all system right now!

Lawrence Vea

Courtenay

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