PR not the only elec­toral op­tion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

In Satur­day’s Guardian, Alan Hol­man very clearly laid out the op­tions Is­lan­ders have when it comes to elec­toral re­form. One of the prob­lems with the de­bate, how­ever, is that it of­ten gets framed as a ques­tion of pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion (P.R.) ver­sus the sta­tus quo.

Hol­man was right to point out there are many ways to elect politi­cians, and what­ever sys­tem we use greatly af­fects the qual­ity and makeup of our leg­is­la­ture. There are a num­ber of ad­van­tages as­so­ci­ated with P.R., but what he said next was pre­scient: “While many Is­lan­ders feel there’s a need for change they should keep in mind a cou­ple of old adages; per­fec­tion is of­ten the en­emy of progress, and in­cre­men­tal change is usu­ally the most suc­cess­ful.”

There is a real op­por­tu­nity and ap­petite for re­form in the province. Just 10 years ago, PR was soundly re­jected by Is­lan­ders for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons. If we fail to truly con­sider real, mean­ing­ful and straight­for­ward al­ter­na­tives like ranked bal­lots (of­ten called pref­er­en­tial vot­ing), Prince Ed­ward Is­land may miss out on this win­dow to adopt a more pro­gres­sive vot­ing sys­tem.

There is an old Chi­nese proverb that says “bet­ter a diamond with a flaw than a peb­ble with­out.”

Let’s not make per­fect the en­emy of the good. Matt Camp­bell, Char­lot­te­town

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