Don’t be scared by flawed ar­gu­ments

Times Colonist - - Comment -

The No side wants to scare you with flawed ar­gu­ments to stop you vot­ing Yes to pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion:

1. Italy and Is­rael are false com­par­isons, as the only two PR coun­tries that do not drop the bot­tom few per cent of votes to pre­vent splinter par­ties. All the pro­posed sys­tems in B.C. would drop the bot­tom five per cent of the vote, cre­at­ing sta­ble gov­ern­ments and pre­vent­ing splin­ters.

2. First past the post fos­ters “big tent” par­ties. Ex­trem­ists in­side the “tent” end up hold­ing the bal­ance of power and elect­ing lead­ers such as On­tario Premier Doug Ford and the Tea Party’s Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump. Con­versely, re­cently, Swe­den’s main par­ties re­fused to form gov­ern­ment with the ul­tra-right racist party. PR pro­tected them from ex­trem­ists.

3. PR coun­tries see co-op­er­a­tion and ac­count­abil­ity be­tween par­ties. Par­ties main­tain power via mu­tual re­spect, re­ject­ing the call of lob­by­ists and big donors. First past the post breeds po­lar­iza­tion and cor­rup­tion.

4. PR strength­ens re­gional rep­re­sen­ta­tion and vir­tu­ally elim­i­nates “or­phan rid­ings.” (Gov­ern­ments ig­nore “un­winnable” rid­ings un­der FPTP.) Par­ties will need ev­ery per cent they can get un­der PR, so they will serve vot­ers.

5. You will have a lo­cal MLA. Claims that you won’t are just plain false.

6. New Brunswick: Lib­er­als: 38 per cent votes, 21 seats. Con­ser­va­tives: 32 per cent votes, 22 seats. As is com­mon un­der FPTP, the party with the most votes lost the elec­tion. That’s not democ­racy.

Please vote Yes to pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion — for qual­ity, sta­ble, co-op­er­a­tive gov­ern­ment. Jes­sica Van der Veen Vic­to­ria

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