Don’t discount other benefits arising from PR
Dear editor: In the Okanagan Weekend (Nov. 3), James Miller posed the question: “What would the outcome of the 2017 election have been if each of the three proposed systems was used?”
Under first-past-the-post in 2017, the BC Liberals won 43 seats with 40 per cent of the popular vote. NDP won 41 seats with 40 per cent and Greens won three seats with 17 per cent.
If we had been using any of the three Pro Rep options, the current legislature would be similar to the way it is today with a few adjustments to reflect the popular vote.
The Liberal and NDP parties would both have the same number of seats (likely about 35 each) and the Greens would have more seats (about 15). Dan Ashton, with 53 per cent of the popular vote, would have been elected as our riding representative.
Given the seat distribution, the BC Liberals would still have had the first opportunity to form government but given their lack of interest to co-operate with either of the other two parties, John Horgan still would be premier in a coalition with the Greens.
However, if we move to pro rep, we can expect some other important changes.
Studies have shown that in countries using pro rep, there are larger turnouts at the polls, women get more involved in politics and there is more collaboration and cooperation between parties.
Gerrymandering of the ridings is eliminated, parties cannot win a majority without securing a majority of the popular vote and fringe parties with less than 5 per cent of the vote are minimalized.
It should also be noted that more than 80 per cent of the countries that form the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development already use pro rep. The only ones that don’t are Canada, the U.S. and the UK.
Also, every country that has given pro rep a two-election trial has voted to keep it in the follow-up referendum. None of them chose to return to FPTP. If that is not enough to convince you, then do a Google search on “First Past the Pizza: Delicious Electoral Reform” and watch the video.
If that still hasn’t convinced you, do another Google search on “117 BC Liberal Falsehoods, Boondoggles and Scandals - The Complete List,” The Tyee, 10 April 2017, and read about the performance of our FPTP elected governments over the past 20 years.
Still not convinced? Go and vote with your heart. Glen Jones Summerland