Letter: Pushing for proportional representation


As you know, our BC government has initiated a referendum for this coming autumn to decide if we want our province to continue choosing our MLAs by the current voting system, known as First Past the Post (FPTP), or if we want to change to a Proportional Representation (PR) system of voting.

In our current FPTP system, the candidate in a riding with the most votes becomes the MLA for that riding whether s/he received a majority of the votes or not. If we had a two party system this would work (sort of) because one candidate would always receive more than 50 per cent of the vote. However, as you know, BC has many political parties. This means that the winning candidate may have significantly less than half of the vote. This aberration often leads to majority governments that the majority of voters did not vote for.

This fall we have an opportunity to change that — if the majority of British Columbians vote for PR.

If we vote for a PR voting system, seats in the BC Legislature will be awarded in direct proportion to the number of votes a party actually receives. Parties that receive fewer votes will still have representation in the Legislature albeit less than a party that received more votes, but the party with the most votes cannot run roughshod over the wishes of the majority if they did not receive a majority of the vote in the election.

A PR system would mean you can vote for the candidate whose platform you believe in and be reasonably sure that your ideas will have at least some meaningful representation in the legislature. It does mean that single-party majority governments will be a lot less likely, but don’t we send our MLAs to Victoria to make the best decisions for ALL British Columbians not just their own party? A PR system would mean that our MLAs would have to work together to select the best ideas for the majority of British Columbians.

As you may also know, there is a spectrum of possible PR voting systems that will produce more or less proportional representation in the BC Legislature. I’m not pushing one over another here because all of them will do a better job of representing the people’s wishes in the BC Legislature than FPTP. I do think it is time for us to leave our archaic FPTP voting system behind in favour of some version of PR that reflects our multi-party society fairly.

You can learn more about various popular voting systems at: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/howwevote/

A Proportional Representation informational meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. on May 9 at the Legion in Hope.

Come out and learn about PR. Ask questions.

Ron Evans

Just Posted

VIDEO: Child airlifted to hospital after crash in rural Langley

Jaws of life were used to cut off the roof of a car and free its occupants from a two-car accident.

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

Sometimes it’s okay to simply try

I feel like a success even though I failed at donating blood

VIDEO: BC Lions Club hosts inaugural Floats Festival

First festival attracts more than 250 floaters

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read