I thought it was time to address the Proportional Representation Referendum one more time as we are reaching the climax with the November thirtieth deadline. Both sides have run a hard campaign to persuade people to adopt their point of view.
Both sides have engaged in heated debate with one another, I know I have participated in a few. Out of this I have made some observations. One, for the most part, people have been civil. There were a few who were likely under the influence or lacked communication skills when it comes to expressing a coherent point of view. Over all people have been respectful.
Looking back I don’t think anyone changed anyone’s mind either.
Both sides presented arguments at times that required fact checking and some of it bordered on the new saying:“alternate facts”.
Again this has become a civil bare knuckle fight, how ironic I will explain in a moment.
What do I see as the pitfalls in all of this? Two sides woke up each other but the electorate is half asleep. It is said the ballot count coming in is disappointing. A small percentage of opinion would be troublesome and embarrassing. Remember, every vote counts and the idea of PR is government would be represented by the wishes of over fifty percent of the electorate. What if only twenty five percent respond? It would not be representative of the views of British Columbians. Didn’t anyone account for this? The next questions is why are people not rushing to the postal box? Could it be people are happy with what they have in the majority? Not necessarily most of the respondents but the majority of voters over all.
Then there is the questionnaire itself. First answer is First Passed the Post or the NO vote.
The PR side has three choices of possible systems and they bore you to death with proposals without the pros and cons of each proposal.
It reminded me of the old political joke, “As government we have principles. And if you don’t like our principles, we have other principles.” From an eye to mind point of view lets look at what is on the paper.
First a nice clear cut question do ya want to change NO
The PR side is option one followed by option two and finally option three. All that reading and mind crunching leads to.
I will just vote NO its easier.
PR didn’t give a simple alternative they turned it into a fish net approach of choices. When you don’t really know what the catch of the day is…you throw it back and keep what you have.
If the PR side wins with less than fifty percent of the ballots returned, on principle it should be declared a hung referendum out of the sheer fact PR has preached their procedure speaks for over fifty percent of the electorate.
Remember I said this was a bare knuckle fight a win? This has already turned in to the divisive issue PR has preached the method would avoid. There is about a week to go before they count the ballots.
The tally the count and the announcement will not be the end.
Oh no, its going to be the beginning of acrimony, posturing, justifying, blaming, accusations and perhaps even court action. It could be the most embarrassing adventure the government has embarked on. Imagine say twenty five or thirty percent of the ballots come in and with a straight face they say the people have spoken.
The day of the announcement have your buttered popcorn ready and a good supply of liquid refreshment the circus is just getting started.