LETTER: Changes promise a better ballot

In response to Mike Pankhurst’s letter in the Aug. 8 edition of your paper under the headline that Proportional representation will give voice to extreme views.

Mr. Pankhurst needs to wake up and realize that not only is FPTP giving voice to extremists, but allowing them to govern as well. The BC Liberals and their extreme pro-corporate, pro-real estate gouging, ideology were allowed to govern B.C. for 16 years while never ever having the support of the majority of eligible voters. Their support rates rarely exceeded 35 per cent.

The same can be said of the new Ford administration in Ontario, where a party with less that 40 per cent support now has carte blanche to rip apart long-established and proven successful legislation in order to push its extremist corporate agenda on the people of that province.

PR may allow some voices now stifled to be heard and represented, but at least it would not allow such voices to govern without tether, as they are now able to do under FPTP. What’s more, clearly FPTP is enabling political entities that are not supported by the majority to actually govern, so something needs to be done. PR may or may not be the solution, but we do know that FPTP is a problem. We can try the new system and see how it works, and thanks to democracy, we can also throw it out if it doesn’t work.

However, the reality is, in places where PR has been implemented, it is proven to work a lot better than FPTP ever did, especially if it is accompanied by mandatory voting laws. The Anti-PR movement needs to stop relying on fear mongering and start making their arguments on factual information, in the way the letter writer has not.

They also need to be honest, because the reality is, we can try PR and if it doesn’t work, we can change it. Or we can stick with a system we know darn well doesn’t work properly for the majority of voters.

Will Webster


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