Is­lan­ders were prop­erly en­gaged

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

Twice in the last few months I read, in The Guardian, ar­ti­cles which stated Is­lan­ders re­jected elec­toral re­form by 63 per cent in a plebiscite 10 years ago. I am partly cu­ri­ous about how that state­ment be said.

Yesterday ( July 10) in Dave Ste­warts’s ar­ti­cle about the up­com­ing plebiscite, there is a para­graph that reads, "How­ever, many say that part of the prob­lem then was Is­lan­ders sim­ply weren't prop­erly en­gaged and many didn't un­der­stand choices they were given." Hog­wash.

I was there. You were there. Re­mem­ber the long vot­ing lines and the hours wait­ing in those lines? Does that not smack of prop­erly en­gaged?

We Is­lan­ders went out fully ed­u­cated, very aware and in­formed. We re­jected a bad pro­posal by 63.5 per cent with the hope of another plebiscite on the mat­ter. Those of us who voted were al­most 100 per cent in favour of elec­toral re­form. It wasn't 63.5 per cent who voted against elec­toral re­form, rather, it was those who stayed home.

And just to be fair to those in favour of the sta­tus quo, first past the post is still a rea­son­able sys­tem and it served us sort of OK while we worked on the is­sue.

But I won­der, in the up­com­ing vote there is a choice of three op­tions this time... how will the suc­cess­ful op­tion be cho­sen? First past the post? That could be a prob­lem if the ma­jor­ity of is­lan­ders would rather stay the course if the other two op­tions weren’t ac­cept­able. We could still end up with one of those op­tions. That would be sort of OK. Justin O'Brien, Winsloe

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