LETTER - Why are so many people afraid of proportional representation?

LETTER – Why are so many people afraid of proportional representation?

Dear editor,

I wonder why many are so afraid of proportional representation. Our current first-past-the-post system was developed in a time when a privileged few made backroom deals and decided the fate of those they saw as inferior. Are we afraid to take our fate into our own hands and choose a system that works for everyone? A system where every vote counts? A system that eliminates the need to vote for the “least worst” option?

Times are changing. Proportional representation will mean that our politicians can no longer hide behind party talking points and obscure rules. As a province, we’re ready for transparency and accountability. We’re ready to be leaders in Canadian democracy – to succeed where Ottawa failed.

New Zealand passed electoral reform in 1993 and never looked back. For those afraid that fringe extremist elements will seep into our parliament, you can rest assured that a minimum threshold will keep those elements far away from power – unlike now, where those elements can join one of the major parties and pull them in their direction.

We can’t let ourselves be fooled (for the third time!) by those trying to convince you that proportional representation is too complicated or too unaccountable. Note that in all their arguments, they never tout the actual values of first-past-the-post. Instead they try to make the alternatives seem scary. I know that British Columbians can see through their tactics.

Alexandra Clarke

Courtenay