No side was under crucial disadvantage
Re: “Horgan, Wilkinson clash on voting,” column, Nov. 9.
What struck me forcibly during Thursday’s debate on the electoral-reform referendum was that the government’s organization, or rather manipulation, of the referendum procedure had put the opposition under a crucial disadvantage.
It was clear that Premier John Horgan had the benefit of positively proposing change, while Opposition Leader Andrew Wilkinson was forced into the perceived position of negativity. A fair and simple design of the ballot question — do you support either first-past-the-post or PR — would have produced a level playing field in which both protagonists could have based their arguments firmly and positively on the merits of the system of their choice. As it stands, the terms “pig in a poke” and “dog’s breakfast” are justified in describing this ballot paper.
In short, all this supported my conviction that the government since Day 1 has unfairly controlled and slanted this issue in its efforts to sustain its power, based on its deal with the Green Party. This is typical of the cynical backroom dealings to sustain power, a feature of PR systems that regularly produce fringe parties and minority governments.