LETTER: Another side of the story

With the resounding and disappointing defeat for Proportional Representation in the BC referendum in December, with 61.3% (845,235 votes) for First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) and 38.7% (533,518 votes) for Proportional Rep (PR), it is easy to become despondent and despair if we are ever going to get a fair and equal voting system in this country. As columnist Andrew Coyne puts it: “FPTP no longer works with more than a 2 party system. It used to, but no longer does.” And ‘more-than-2-parties’ is here to stay in Canada.

How can 85% of democracies and 9 out of the top 10 economies in the OECD be wrong, in using PR systems of government? Why is it taking so long for Canada to join the modern age of fair electoral representation in our governments, where the number of seats reflects the percentage of votes received?

1,403,358 completed voting packages were returned to Elections BC. This percentage of returns was higher than voting in many recent municipal elections.

YES, votes for PR were over 50% in 16 ridings which was inspiring especially when viewing how high the %’s were and in such densely populated urban areas. Nelson-Creston and Kootenay West were the only two constituencies to support PR in the Interior.

Here are the results by majority support for PR:

1. Vancouver-Mount Pleasant 74.26% for PR

2. Victoria-Beacon Hill 66.35%

3. Victoria-Swan Lake 65.34%

4. Vancouver-Hastings 61.63%

5. Vancouver-West End 61.45%

6. Vancouver-Fairview 57.62%

7. Nelson-Creston 57.05%

8. Powell River-Sunshine Coast 53.88%

9. Oak Bay-Gordon Head 53.47%

10. Vancouver-Point Grey 52.89%

11. Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca 52.7%

12. Saanich North and the Islands 51.38%

13. Vancouver-False Creek 51.33%

14. Kootenay West 51.26%

15. New Westminister 50.96%

16. Langford Juan-de-Fuca 50.86%

Columbia River-Revelstoke 42.87% and Kootenay East 28.2%

So it would appear, the desire for electoral reform is not about to go away. PEI will be holding a referendum in 2019. And this will be a major issue in the upcoming federal election.

Research Co. conducted an exit poll on the referendum with these findings:

“Voters didn’t vote so much for first-past-the-post, or against PR (as they agree with principles of it) as they voted overwhelmingly against a process they didn’t trust. The exit poll suggests that the process was likely more to blame than the appetite of residents for a different system.

Mary Donald | Riondel

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