PR not the only electoral option
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