Don’t dis­count other ben­e­fits aris­ing from PR

Penticton Herald - - OPINION -

Dear ed­i­tor: In the Okana­gan Week­end (Nov. 3), James Miller posed the ques­tion: “What would the out­come of the 2017 elec­tion have been if each of the three pro­posed sys­tems was used?”

Un­der first-past-the-post in 2017, the BC Lib­er­als won 43 seats with 40 per cent of the pop­u­lar vote. NDP won 41 seats with 40 per cent and Greens won three seats with 17 per cent.

If we had been us­ing any of the three Pro Rep op­tions, the cur­rent leg­is­la­ture would be sim­i­lar to the way it is today with a few ad­just­ments to re­flect the pop­u­lar vote.

The Lib­eral and NDP par­ties would both have the same num­ber of seats (likely about 35 each) and the Greens would have more seats (about 15). Dan Ash­ton, with 53 per cent of the pop­u­lar vote, would have been elected as our rid­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Given the seat dis­tri­bu­tion, the BC Lib­er­als would still have had the first op­por­tu­nity to form govern­ment but given their lack of in­ter­est to co-op­er­ate with ei­ther of the other two par­ties, John Hor­gan still would be premier in a coali­tion with the Greens.

How­ever, if we move to pro rep, we can ex­pect some other im­por­tant changes.

Stud­ies have shown that in coun­tries us­ing pro rep, there are larger turnouts at the polls, women get more in­volved in pol­i­tics and there is more col­lab­o­ra­tion and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween par­ties.

Ger­ry­man­der­ing of the rid­ings is elim­i­nated, par­ties can­not win a ma­jor­ity with­out se­cur­ing a ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­lar vote and fringe par­ties with less than 5 per cent of the vote are min­i­mal­ized.

It should also be noted that more than 80 per cent of the coun­tries that form the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment al­ready use pro rep. The only ones that don’t are Canada, the U.S. and the UK.

Also, ev­ery coun­try that has given pro rep a two-elec­tion trial has voted to keep it in the fol­low-up ref­er­en­dum. None of them chose to re­turn to FPTP. If that is not enough to con­vince you, then do a Google search on “First Past the Pizza: De­li­cious Elec­toral Re­form” and watch the video.

If that still hasn’t con­vinced you, do an­other Google search on “117 BC Lib­eral False­hoods, Boon­dog­gles and Scan­dals - The Com­plete List,” The Tyee, 10 April 2017, and read about the per­for­mance of our FPTP elected gov­ern­ments over the past 20 years.

Still not con­vinced? Go and vote with your heart. Glen Jones Sum­mer­land

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