When you were a true mayor I thought your position on most issues was a fairly reasoned one. But now that you’ve relaxed in your armchair you’ve got me a bit confused.
For example, you quote opposition leader Wilkinson’s caricature of the report as “massively biased in a stacked deck in a rigged game”. While the quotation demonstrates admirable Churchillian variety in saying the same thing three ways (a typical politician’s response!), it is quite ironic, since the BC Liberals and their predecessors have been using a stacked deck for decades to win elections with the support of only a minority of voters.
I, on the contrary, am highly impressed by the way Eby incorporated suggestions from almost 92,000 respondents on the subject of electoral reform change into his recommendations. He clearly heard our concerns regarding the need to maintain the power of the regions, the need to keep out fringe parties, and the lack of appetite for a significant increase in the number of MLAs. These have been all been addressed via specific guarantees.
How could you read Mr. Eby’s report and get from it “no all-party committee, and no Legislative debate”? If his recommendations are followed a number of decisions not yet resolved in the report will be settled through a legislative all-party committee which will surely involve a great deal of debating!
With respect to your concern about the lack of maps, is it not of greater importance that MLAs first represent those within their boundaries, rather than arguing about the specific location of that boundary? Our Legislature is populated by a slew of politicians who were elected by far less than a majority of their constituents. If voters choose proportional representation, then it will be the job of Elections BC, a neutral body, to determine riding boundaries. I dare say that if it comes down to a choice, most people would choose to be represented by an MLA who aligns with their political views over one that comes from an entirely unappealing political party, yet happens to represent their very specific geographic area. Happily, this is not a choice that voters will have to make, given that all the proposed systems maintain strong geographic ties between MLAs and voters.
We two, Mel, have been allowed to vote only FPTP throughout our lifetimes, but I have always thought you, like me, believed in democracy despite the obvious shortcomings of our FPTP system which beggars fairness in giving complete control to a party holding only 40% of the votes.
Each of the three options suggested by A-G Eby would provide proportional results, ensuring politicians and parties earn the power they wield. Because proportional representation clearly produces far superior democratic results than does FPTP it is clearly an “electoral REFORM” and democracy will certainly be improved by its implementation.
The Encyclopedia Britannica describes the connection between Representative Democracy and Proportional Representation as both sharing the same goals and states that only if an assembly represents the full diversity of opinion within a country or constituency can its decisions be regarded as legitimate. The same view, held even more succinctly, “The current ‘first-past-the-post’ system is undemocratic. On that ground alone, it needs to be replaced.” – The Economist (1991 Editorial).
Our current system unnecessarily divides us into winners and losers. Why should half of us be losers every election, when most other countries in the world use systems which ensure that 95% of voters see their choice reflected in the outcome? British Columbians deserve a government that works for ALL of us, rather than a select few. Proportional representation ensures that more of us get what we voted for. In a democracy, how is that not a good thing?