Letter: Fairness needed in electoral system

Liberal MLA Norm Letnick erroneously suggests proportional representation will skew election results towards Lower Mainland voters.

He’s dead wrong.

All voting systems skew results, to some degree, towards large population centres. But with proportional voting systems, votes from far rural and remote areas can be cast in favour of a political party, as well as local candidates, and so they are not completely wasted, as they are under the current First Past The Post system – a system left over from the days of the British Empire, when elites ruled everywhere.

Proportional voting systems give everyone a chance to affect political outcomes, because the number of votes cast for a particular party are reflected in the number of seats that party receives.

What Norm Letnick really fears is that in a proportional system, voters for smaller parties like the Green Party and the Conservative Party would cast their ballots for the parties the truly supported, and thus weaken both major parties – the BC liberals and the NDP.

Doing so would result in more democratic outcomes, more diversity of representation, fewer wasted votes, and an increased level of collaboration among political players.

Prior to the last election, the BC liberals set an unenviable standard, for more than a decade, for rigid partisan politics. Every single piece of legislation they introduced was passed, and every single piece of legislation introduced by anyone else whatsoever was defeated – even though their party had won a minority of votes in each election.

It’s time for a system that is fair to all British Columbians, and not stacked in favour of one or two dominant political parties.

We live in the 21st century, not the 19th. It’s time for everyone to have a say, and that’s best achieved with proportional electoral systems.

Warren Bell

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