Deciphering pro-rep merit difficult to do
Dear editor: Facts about the potential aftermath of B.C.’s proportional representation (PR) referendum have been difficult to sort out, with minimal information provided by the BC NDP/Green government.
Premier John Horgan advised us all to “go Google it” if we wanted more info, so I did that. I discovered on so-called Fair Vote sites as well as in B.C. and national media, conflicting facts, inadequately detailed “mythbusters” and biased factchecker sites abound.
Horgan has further advised citizens not to worry, and “take a leap of faith” regarding various undisclosed details of our new electoral system.
A point advanced by the Yes side is that all MLAs will definitely be determined by voters, not political parties. Our premier has also stated this.
Perhaps he has not read Attorney General David Eby’s report on this referendum. Pages 71 and 74 of Eby’s lengthy report reveal lists of important details to be decided after the vote. Among those details, the option remains for top-up/proportional MLAs to be decided by political parties via their own lists and not, in fact, by voters. (That element of our new system will be decided post-referendum by a partisan legislative committee rather than an independent body).
Would MLAs selected from a party list, rather than by voters, truly be accountable to local constituents and not their own political party? I doubt it, if they intend to keep their MLA jobs in future elections.
Fair Vote sites also claim the reason new riding boundaries won’t be known until after the vote is that the process of re-drawing riding boundaries for all three options would be too expensive.
Eby has publicly claimed that there was just not enough time to re-draw the boundaries before the vote. Eby did not mention the costs of that task as a factor.
The Yes campaign ignores our attorney general with regard to the above and other important facts.
In the absence of detailed information on the three PR systems from which we are meant to choose, I followed our premier’s glib advice and Googled. I read his minister’s report. I received the BC NDP robo-call pushing me to vote for PR.
Casting my referendum ballot in favor of retaining our current FPTP system, I’m not prepared to agree to Horgan’s request for a “trust us” leap of faith. The canyon of missing detail is just too wide to take that risk. Loraine Stephanson, Penticton