LETTER: Very important to give proportional representation a decent chance

LETTER: Very important to give proportional representation a decent chance

Concerning Al Schalm’s letter on our electoral system (Shuswap Market News, July 6): agreed, elections aren’t a horse race or a hockey game. They’re much more important than either. The Westminster protocol works fairly when there are only two parties. It does require the winner to get more than 50 per cent of the vote, a majority.

We live in a multicultural country and a global world. Canada is not a melting pot; two parties are not sufficient to represent the values, needs, wants and aspirations of many cultures.

The Green Party’s popular vote (16.84 per cent) is hardly a “fringe” and should be represented by 14 MLAs, lessening the NDP and Liberal numbers. In our proposed system a party would need five per cent of the vote to be recognized. Israel doesn’t have this bar.

Related: Keep current voting system in place

In a democracy the majority has the power but everyone should be represented. The majority would be a coalition. Coalitions have brought in long-lasting social programs; i.e., Pearson/Diefenbaker years. Presently, the three Green MLAs are bound by a public and strict Confidence and Supply Agreement. They are not the “tail wagging the dog;” otherwise Site C, affordable housing and ride-sharing would have been dealt with according to their policies.

About 80 developed countries use proportional systems. In Europe, Germany is still strongest. Interestingly, the longer it takes to form a government, the more that country’s GDP rises. Elections BC, the BC Boundaries Commission and the all-party committee will adjust the proportional system to suit our geography and population distribution. It will not be skewed to favour anyone!

Give proportional representation a chance to bring fairer, more inclusive, more stable, more civil government to BC. Another referendum after two elections will allow us to keep it or not.

Nancy Leathley


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