LETTERS: Let’s take democracy back

LETTERS: Let’s take democracy back

Gordon Gibson (Guest Comment, Oct. 24) misses the point when he attacks democracy by calling the current proportional representation referendum “misleading and dishonest.”

In fact, absolutely any PR system would be more democratic and voter inclusive than the archaic first-past-the post system we must endure now, for a number of reasons:

1. The current FPTP system disenfranchises thousand of voters and effectively consigns these votes to the dumpster.

2. If you live in a riding where the incumbent you do not care for has a smaller majority, then in a three way race you are forced to vote “strategically.” This vote splitting dilemma cause people to vote against their true wishes and the vote splitting that does go on allows the winner to take the riding with a significant minority of votes.

3. The current FPTP system creates national or provincial policy instability as each time a new party wins the vote there are dizzyingly wild swings of direction.

4. Voters are fed up with the childish partisanship that goes for politics these days. Good ideas are automatically ruled out, and even worse, ridiculed and vilified, simply because they have been proposed by “the other side.”

5. Instead of the constant name calling and finger pointing we have now under FPTP, often called “Yah Boo” politics by past commentators, under PR, politicians would be forced to collaborate, conduct reasoned factual debates, borrow and synthesise ideas, find consensus and work together.

6. Many countries, including Germany, Norway, Ireland and New Zealand have recognised FPTP systems do not work and have had PR systems operating, in some cases for many years.

So away with the fear, uncertainty and doubt stirred up by Mr. Gibson and his ilk. Let us take back democracy in B.C., and vote “Yes” to PR in the referendum.

Roland Alcock

Sooke