LETTER: Learn about the options for proportional representation

LETTER: Learn about the options for proportional representation

I am responding to Mike Pankhurst’s letter entitled, “Proportional representation will give voice to extreme views” in the Aug. 8 Saanich News.

I disagree with the letter on so many levels. He’s refuting a previous letter that was supportive of PR. I think that first past the post does give us “false majority governments” and rule by tyranny as the previous letter stated.

PR would allow more representation for more people with differing views to be in the legislature, having to work together for all the people of B.C., not just for the rich or those with ties to large corporations who donated to the coffers of one political party or another. PR would be a good thing.

I believe a coalition of people each representing their constituents is a positive step in the right direction. The NDP and Greens are doing that at the moment and fixing a lot of the things that were wrecked by the previous government of Christy Clark.

The letter writer says “the coalition that will be formed with PR will be based on back-room deals between politicians without any input from the public.” To me, that sounds just like what occurred with Christy Clark’s government. Does he mean like the back-room deal between Clark and Rich Coleman to launder dirty money from China in the casinos of Vancouver, and then wash it clean in the real estate markets of Vancouver and Victoria? It drove up our prices and caused housing shortages and unaffordability in our communities.

PR would stop these back-room deals with elected representatives coming up with ideas and plans that work for all the people of B.C.

The letter toes on to say “at least with the current first past the post it’s possible to ‘throw the bums out’ from time to time.” This is not a good way to govern a province or country. A true democracy is when elected representatives listen to their constituents and then take that information to the legislature to share and discuss and come up with a plan that works for all British Columbians.

PR would be a new, more collaborative way to govern. Let’s give it a chance like New Zealand and many other countries around the world have. It’s working for them, and their citizens feel more involved in their own communities and country.

In October you’ll receive a ballot in the mail to choose the type of electoral system you want. Educate yourself about the three choices on the internet or by reading the paper in the coming months. You can just vote on the first question on whether you would like to have proportional representation and not on the second question of what type of PR system you would like. Your ballot will still be counted.

This is a very important issue for B.C. The current government has removed big corporate donations to political parties, voting for PR would be the next positive step back to a solid democracy. Make sure to vote in October.

Marilyn Goode

Saanich