I was shocked by the full page and half page ads that appeared in many community newspapers opposing electoral reform, as the timing was just before the official pre-referendum period where spending on promoting or opposing electoral reform was limited, in order to level the playing field. Even more so when I learned the different organizations with innocent names like “Know B4 You Vote Society” were funded by billionaire corporate interests who back the BC Liberal party.
One of the things that first attracted me to proportional representation, PR, apart from the fact that it just made sense, is that it is supported by people across the political spectrum. In BC, as we embark on our third referendum in a decade and a half, it’s good to remember that the first two referenda were initiated by Gordon Campbell and the Liberals.
Political parties aren’t dogs, and to be honest, we like our dogs a lot more. But we keep our dogs on a leash for good reason. The way I see it, proportional representation keeps all the parties on a leash and it puts the leash in our hands. Isn’t that what democracy is all about? When 39% of the vote gets a clear majority, it is primarily specific ridings and swing voters within them whom politicians pay attention and pander to, even if doing so is actually contradictory in the outcomes – e.g. yes to LNG but no to Kinder Morgan. It also feeds parties bashing each other instead of finding ways to work together to serve all of us transparently and not having wasted time and money with extreme swings in policy that never even get to pay off, as it all gets changed again with a new government.
I have no “special interest” or agenda, other than a system we can believe in rather than the current loss of faith in all institutions.
Andre C. Piver MD | Canyon