If less than 20 percent of those that can…..do…….
Referendum should be called NULL and VOID
British Columbians have an opportunity to reject outright a new proportional representation electoral system, forever.
A couple of quotes to start us off
Premier John Horgan – ““If you were woke you would know prop rep is lit.” – Gee John did Andrew suggest that?
MLA Linda Larson – “If this is confusing just vote NO..”
A couple of questions for you Andrew
Ok lets bite into this conundrum.
Who wants this? Green, socialists – who??
FPTP has been good for the NDP. The party of three people that runs BC at the moment wants this new system to gain strength. This idea must be defeated. If John Horgan won a majority I could support it. If Christy Clark had won a majority I could support it. If Mr. Weaver ever wins a majority I could support it.
The truth is the Liberal Party of BC got the highest level of public support in the last election but has been “snafu”ed by a 3 member party of tree huggers hell bent on getting their way. And they are doing just that. Until the government falls, the numbers change or the 4 year mandate is up – we are stuck with this craziness.
We need a clear choice of a majority government.
Andrew Frank talks to who is supporting the NO side. Let’s talk to who is supporting the YES side. Same $$ limits under the law of the land and supervision of Elections BC.
You can say big business is against this and bigger Labour is for this or… or… or.
Notice the comments here – no big business indicated just people totally against something new, never tested here.
AND if adopted by 10 percent of the eligible voters. Then the government of the day will proclaim it as godly served. This can be changed with a 50% plus 1 of the eligible voters.
Different strokes for different folks
I will quote my self – our present system is the best in the world and used by most democracies. It was good for Kennedy, it was good for Churchill. Why not me? Why not you?
No Matter Your Political Stripe, Proportional Representation Will Be Better For The Things You Care About
British Columbians have an opportunity to try out a new proportional representation electoral system, risk-free, for two elections.
If you didn’t tune into last Thursday’s debate on electoral reform, don’t worry, you didn’t miss much: two guys yelling over each other, trying to score political points.
More than anything, it was a powerful testament to how badly our province needs to adopt a voting system based on proportional representation. This is because our current voting system produces polarizing debates like the one we saw on Thursday night, and a dysfunctional system of seesaw government where political parties take turns throwing each other out of office and undoing each other’s policies. It’s a zero-sum, winner takes all system that isn’t doing much good for anyone.
Contrast this with a country like New Zealand – very similar to Canada in many ways – which adopted proportional representation in the 1990’s. Today, New Zealand’s coalition government consists of parties from across the political spectrum. In forming government, these parties have had to consult with each other and make compromises on important issues ranging from farmers’ rights and immigration policy, to climate change and cannabis legalization. They now share governance, with ministry roles in finance, foreign affairs and environment going to members of the different political parties.
Imagine a BC coalition government where the Minister of Finance might be a Conservative with extensive business experience, the Minister of Health could be a Liberal with impressive medical credentials, the Minister of Environment could be a Green with a PhD in climate science, and the Minister of Jobs and Trade might come from the Labour movement. The end result would be a government that better represented the values and interests of a larger number of British Columbians, and made better use of the wide expertise of our citizens who choose to run for politics.
Proportional representation isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Political parties will still disagree and we’ll have important and heated debates as a society about the things we care about, as we should. What will change, however, is the fact that we will need to find a way forward together. This is a good thing, because for all of our differences, we also share a lot of common sense, and in places that use proportional representation, policies that make common sense tend to become non-partisan.
For example, renewable energy is not a partisan issue in Germany. The vast majority of Germans support it, and as a result, Germany has become the world’s first major renewable energy economy, with almost half of all renewable energy production owned by German citizens themselves. A recent 2017 national survey showed that 95% of Germans support further expanding renewable energy. All of this happened because a coalition government was elected through proportional representation in the 1990’s, and it created a national renewable energy policy that has been carried on by all governments since then, regardless of political stripe.
Even for the issues on which we disagree strongly, proportional representation can offer us better representation. For example, take the national park issue, where citizens on both sides of the debate have felt underrepresented by their provincial and/or federal representatives at one time or another. People feel like their voices are not being heard. Under a proportional representation system, there would be multiple MLAs representing our electoral region, and both opponents and supporters of the park could elect representatives who would carry their voices to the provincial legislature.
There is one group that thinks it won’t benefit from proportional representation: those who are already powerful. Financial donors to the No side include government lobbyists and the wealthy elites who employ them. These are the people who prefer things the way they are. The idea of citizens having more control over the political system scares them. More political power to citizens means more control over the things that affect our lives, including taxes, housing, wages, healthcare, resource revenues, you name it.
At the end of the day, proportional representation means that if you earn 30% of the vote, you get 30% of the seats, and 30% of the power. It’s that simple. It also means citizens will be motivated to create new political parties representing issues that matter to them. This means we will have more political choices to choose from, and while we might not agree with each other’s politics, we can strongly agree on each other’s right to better representation.
When proportional representation was brought to a referendum vote in New Zealand, many politicians were opposed to the new system because they feared the unknown. After the system was adopted in 1996, many changed their position, preferring the new system for the same reason citizens liked it: improved dialogue, transparency and consultation between political parties and the public. Subsequently, a strong majority of New Zealanders voted again in 2011 to keep the system. Today, the BC government is offering us a risk-free, two-election trial of a new system, meaning that if we don’t like it after two elections, we will have the opportunity to go back to the way things were through a second referendum. What do we have to lose?
The next time someone tells you to vote “No” to proportional representation, ask yourself what’s in it for them. In the meantime, do yourself a favour by voting today and mailing in your ballot before the November 30th deadline. This is a chance to give yourself more power over the things that matter to you, regardless of your politics.
For more information on the referendum on electoral reform, visit Elections BC: https://elections.bc.ca/referendum
Andrew Frank is a former Oliver resident and an instructor in the
School of Business, and the Faculty of Science and Horticulture, at Kwantlen Polytechnic University