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

Reminder: John Hart Dam road closed until Nov. 15

BC Hydro is providing public notice that the road across the John… Continue reading

Strathcona Gardens shuffles ice time to accommodate BCHL game ousted by ammonia leak at Port Alberni rink

Campbell River’s Rod Brind’Amour Arena will host a British Columbia Hockey League… Continue reading

Local salon raises $5,300 for Ovarian Cancer Canada

Affected team member catalyst for fundraiser

BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs set to play in Campbell River after ice rink closure

City of Port Alberni waiting on Technical Safety BC approval to re-open multiplex

Use of force deemed justifiable in arrest of suspect after snowy chase near Nanaimo

Independent Investigation Office of B.C. reports on incident from late last winter

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

B.C. woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and South Okanagan senior’s centre members presented 150 signature petition to local MLA

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

Nearly half of B.C. drivers nervous in winter conditions: BCAA

‘Wait and see’ approach common practice for 32% of B.C. motorists

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

At least 3 hurt in California school shooting, gunman sought

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department looking for a male suspect in black clothing was seen at the location

Most Read