LETTER: Why I’ll vote ‘yes’ in B.C. election referendum

I will vote for change now, and hope that public pressure pushes politicians…

To the Editor,

Re: B.C.’s PR vote is dishonest, misleading – AV News, Oct 24

I share columnist Gordon Gibson’s lingering disappointment at the so-called “failure” of the 2005 referendum on STV. There was a large vote (58 percent) for change, frustrated only by the 60 percent margin of success demanded by the government.

The new 2018 referendum calls for a simple majority—50 percent plus one—which maybe goes a bit far in the opposite direction. Nevertheless….

There is significant public desire for a voting system giving more proportional representation than first-past-the-post. I personally believe that, however open to criticism this referendum is, a yes for change is likely to produce a more balanced legislature than FPTP.

Anyone who wants change towards ‘pro rep’, soon, had better vote in favour of it. The alternative is to stick with FPTP for the foreseeable future, or wait X number of years—how many?—for a new proposal to appear.

I will vote for change now, and hope that public pressure pushes politicians to craft a system the majority will approve. There is plenty still to be decided after a ‘yes’ vote: We all have a voice and the ability to make ourselves heard. Note too that this referendum allows reverting to FPTP after two elections, if a majority so decides. This is a chance to test drive a new system.

I do not like the status quo and cannot agree that the current proposal is any more “self-serving and deceitful” (Mr Gibson’s words) than what we have now. I have no reason to vote ‘no’ to a potentially less self-serving system.

I am not a member of any referendum campaign or supporter of any political organization.

Alexander Miller,

Port Alberni

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