Win­ners can’t ‘take all’ with mod­ern pro-rep

Penticton Herald - - LETTERS -

Dear ed­i­tor: My bal­lot has been mailed in and I voted for ru­ral-ur­ban pro­por­tional.

Dur­ing the last ref­er­en­dum, we were given only one op­tion and af­ter de­lib­er­at­ing on it for a long time I fi­nally voted no be­cause I could see that the sys­tem that was pro­posed (STV or sin­gle trans­fer­able vote) would not work in the ru­ral ar­eas.

The next ref­er­en­dum (both un­der Lib­eral gov­ern­ments, the ones who are squawk­ing loud­est against it now) gave us the same op­tion, as if they ex­pected us to have sud­denly come to our senses.

The ru­ral-ur­ban pro­por­tional sys­tem has rec­og­nized that flaw and will use the STV sys­tem for the ur­ban ar­eas and MMP (mixed mem­ber pro­por­tional) for the coun­try.

In our cur­rent sys­tem, first past the post, or win­ner take all, 68 per cent of seats are con­sid­ered safe and ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ments are won with less than half of the votes cast.

Of all the OECD coun­tries, Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. have stuck with the old sys­tem that was de­signed decades ago for a two-party sys­tem.

Now, with five, six or more par­ties, it makes no sense. None of the coun­tries that changed to a pro­por­tional sys­tem have opted to go back to the old FPTP sys­tem.

The naysay­ers are ter­ri­fied they will no longer get a ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment, and right­fully so, be­cause they won’t.

They will no longer be able to make de­ci­sions on their party stance rather than on what’s good for the prov­ince. If it takes a lit­tle longer to reach a con­sen­sus, isn’t it bet­ter than mak­ing de­ci­sions that will be over­turned if an­other party gets in?

Or that pos­si­bly over half the prov­ince dis­agrees with?

Take a look at On­tario where Doug Ford got all the power, even to use the not­with­stand­ing clause in the Con­sti­tu­tion, with only 40 per cent of the vote.

Think it over. Do we want to stay with the horse, buggy and blink­ers, or do we want to catch up with the other coun­tries? I say, let’s catch up and maybe in­spire a few more peo­ple to vote in the next elec­tion. It will be a lot more in­ter­est­ing than what we have now. Donna Stocker, Caw­ston

I re­ally want to ap­plaud the let­ter from Chuck Liebrock, “Char­ity should be­gin at home,” (Nov. 2).

I couldn’t have said it bet­ter. It is sad when so much money is spent on pol­i­tics and the ba­sics are not met. I still can’t be­lieve in our rich coun­try they could spend $500 mil­lion on a 150-year cel­e­bra­tion and yet be without qual­ity drink­ing wa­ter or a place to sleep at night. Steve MacNaull found it im­por­tant to re­port that Loyal Wooldridge is our first openly gay coun­cil mem­ber and I would ar­gue we do not need to con­sider a per­son’s sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. Sim­ply, he is the only new face on coun­cil.

To­day I had to smile. Brian Henry is sad about the bill­boards block­ing the view of the lake for the In­dige­nous Tourism Con­fer­ence. Maybe he can talk to the peo­ple who own the land they are on and sug­gest it is a poor way to make money. Erika Podewils,

Kelowna

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