Editorial: The question should be simple

A vote on proportional representation shouldn’t be complicated

If the NDP and Greens hold true to their promise, B.C. will go to the polls to answer the question of whether or not they want to switch to some form of proportional representation.

A simple question — even just yes or no — is not a bad thing.

We’ve been in this position twice before and the proposition failed. But that wasn’t necessarily, as the Liberals would have you believe, because the people didn’t want to switch from first-past-the-post system. Instead, you might want to consider how high the bar was set for the referendums to pass, and how complex and confusing the B.C. Single Transferable Vote System seemed to many people.

Once you understood it, BC-STV was a straightforward concept. But getting to that understanding required at least a couple of advanced math classes.

The Liberals are also taking the position that proportional representation would cause a string of minority governments, essentially making it impossible to govern the province.

They’re half right. There will be more minority governments, but if our parties and elected representatives choose to work together rather than take the first chance to bring the government down, legislation that supports the people of B.C. rather than special interest groups might stand a chance of getting passed.

Good things can happen under minority governments; Medicare and the Canada Pension Plan being two good examples.

First past the post does tend to ensure majority governments, but it has the fatal flaw of allowing, in many ridings, a candidate with less than 50 per cent of the vote — more people voting against the candidate than for — to take the riding.

When it finally comes to a vote, the question isn’t really yes or no to proportional representation. It’s question of whether we want to continue with a system that creates a government that represents a minority of British Columbians or move to one that represents the population fairly.

Just Posted

B.C. salmon farm inspection deal reached with Indigenous people

Monitoring to determine if any Broughton region farms stay open

Compromise found on grocery store size in south Campbell River subdivision

Approved increase less than developer wanted, but will still allow for some flexibility

City of Campbell River looks to improve environmental protection during development

Changes to mapping environmentally sensitive areas and how permitting process works is under review

Dippity doo-dah; Campbell River Rotary Duck Dip winners scooped up

Fundraiser for Head Injury Support Society’s Linda’s Place

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

Island contestant competes on Great Canadian Baking Show

Andrea Nauta auditioned for the show before but was lucky second time around

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Most Read