LETTER: Letters to editor prove ‘no’ side was too effective in Pro Rep referendum

Pro rep works in 90 democratic countries, it could have worked here, says writer

To the Editor,

Re: B.C. referendum restores faith, Letters, Dec. 26

With respect, R.A. Cole’s letter is a clear indication of just how effective the ‘No’ side’s campaign of misleading and untruthful statements, fear-mongering, and inflammatory rhetoric was in this referendum. To wit: Proportional Representation (PR) is used by more than 90 democratic countries in the world and is hardly “untried and elsewhere unsuccessful.”

Nor were the three models of PR on the ballot “phoney choices”. MMP is used in many countries; DMP and RUP both contained elements of PR models used elsewhere and were simply models designed to address geographical/social issues specific to BC.

However, the biggest fallacy contained therein is that PR “would have disenfranchised most of the citizens and left total power in the hands of party hacks and the big urban centres.” Closer inspection of the three models would reveal that ALL candidates would be elected and that no area would have fewer MLAs than before. Also, PR does not allow “a third party candidate…to come up the middle” It is based on the simple principle that “people should be represented in proportion to how they voted”.

ProRep or PR empowers the electorate, not parties and closer examination of the facts (prorepfactcheck.ca and fairvote.ca/pr4bc) will reveal just how much the truth has been manipulated in this referendum.

Certainly there is no doubt that the way in which this ballot was organized, presented, and worded doomed it to failure even before the voting started; that failure is totally the responsibility of the NDP government.

However, both the NDP and Green election platforms stated their support for Proportional Representation, thus exposing the fallacy that the NDP held this referendum just to appease the Greens.

I realize that many people obviously think that it’s OK to deny other voters fair representation solely because they disagree with their views, but that, in my opinion, is not democracy, but rather hypocrisy.

Murray Chantler,

Qualicum Beach

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