First of all let me say I do not know the position the Editor of this news outlet has on the proportional representation referendum. This could turn out to be as contentious as the old GST Debate. Remember the rancor of that discussion?
If you think the upcoming referendum does not effect you in any way think again. This is not about legislation its about the way we govern ourselves. Governance is the most important issue as it determines how all the other laws are debated and modified.
Recently a former Premier Ujjal Dosanjh spoke out against the referendum proposal on Proportional Representation. He claimed it fosters the ambitions of racists. That is only part of the problem in my view. That is not to say I don’t agree with him.
I want you to think about this for a few moments. In our present system how long does it take governments to debate and implement anything? We at present have three parties in the House. The wheels of government are designed to move slow, sober second thought is a plus in the long run.
Now expand that to say if a party running gets a certain percentage of the vote they automatically get a seat at the table. That means we have several groups of different factions that are supposed to bring governance into focus. Let me tell you I don’t think that is going to happen. It will cause even more division than we have now. I will recite off the top of my head a scenario of different factions as an example and see what it looks like.
NDP, Green, Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians, Socialists, Populist Right Wing Fascists, Christian Fundamentalists, other faith based groups, Animal Rights Groups, even a Communist or two. I believe if you actually had these groups as a part of the main discussion table all promoting their agendas we would end up with a gaggle of voices and chaos like the European Countries that have adopted the same.
There were those upset by the NDP Green combination. What if we saw coalitions of five or six elected special interest groups forming a government? We could end up having more governments than Italy. I use Italy as an example because they have several parties and a lackof political stability.
We need various voices bringing the issues of the people to Parliament in Victoria. What we do not need is a gaggle of voices representing every special interest groups that don’t represent the mainstream of democracy. In a democracy we need debate, and sober second thought.We do not need government by coalitions of special interest groups over time deciding the agenda of governance,
For those more cynical saying that is what we have now I have an old message that still applies. “It is better to stick with the devil you know, than to change course and give a mandate to the devil you don’t know.”
Everyone will have a ballot and a decision to make and I hope whatever decision you make, is one you actually give some thought too. The decision we make we will live with for about a hundred years give or take.