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OPEN LETTER – A challenge to Fair Vote Kamloops on the prop rep referendum

AN OPEN LETTER TO FAIR VOTE KAMLOOPS:

The upcoming referendum on electoral change is one of the most important decisions British Columbians will make for a long time to come.

It’s essential that voters have full access to neutral information about the proposals on the ballot but also to the positions of those who are in favour and opposed.

Those on both sides of the issue want what’s best for B.C., though we differ on what that is. I’m disappointed that Fair Vote Kamloops characterizes the proponents of First Past the Post as lobbyists, millionaires, vested interests and Liberals.

For one thing, while it’s true the BC Liberal party favours First Past the Post, it’s also true the BC NDP and Greens favour Proportional Representation. More importantly, there are many folks just like you and me who support one side or the other.

I have no connection to No BC Prop Rep. I am neither a BC Liberal (in fact, I belong to no political party), nor a lobbyist, and definitely not a millionaire, and have no vested interest in the outcome but I support retention of First Past the Post. Despite that, I publish opinions from both sides of the issue on the ArmchairMayor.ca.

I can’t help but notice that Fair Vote Kamloops doesn’t do the same. Your Facebook page gives space only to opinions that support Proportional Representation, yet you insist you’re in favour of voters having access to all the “facts.”

You criticize the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce for supposedly not wanting its members to “get information from both sides” yet you don’t provide that opportunity within your own social media and publicity campaign vehicles. While you publish links to opinions expressed on ArmchairMayor.ca that support Proportional Representation you don’t do the same for those that support First Past the Post.

So here’s my challenge to Fair Vote Kamloops. Start walking the walk on your claim to want voters to get all the information available. Start presenting the “other side.” A good place to start would be to post a link to my Armchair Mayor column from Saturday, Oct. 6 headlined “Don’t be fooled by the hocus pocus of prop rep math.”

This column explains that PR is designed for small jurisdictions in which total popular vote is used to make the decisions, as opposed to First Past the Post that begins with the riding system.

Refute what I wrote in that column if you wish, but publish it and it will be a small step toward providing the information balance you claim you want.

— Mel Rothenburger

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About Mel Rothenburger (6109 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on OPEN LETTER – A challenge to Fair Vote Kamloops on the prop rep referendum

  1. In the interest of a rational debate Mel, why do you support an electoral system that has almost always led to a minority holding the majority of power in our legislature?

    • Mel Rothenburger // October 15, 2018 at 3:24 PM // Reply

      The last minority government was in 1952. In other years, one party has won a majority of the seats. When you refer to a minority holding the majority of power, I assume you’re talking about total popular vote but FPTP provides voters in each riding the opportunity to choose their representative in the Legislature. So when PR advocates say 40 per cent of the vote should equal 40 per cent of the seats it sounds logical but in fact it’s misleading.

  2. Ken Mcclelland // October 13, 2018 at 6:56 PM // Reply

    Gee, crickets from the pro pr folks……

  3. Don Drysdale // October 13, 2018 at 8:03 AM // Reply

    Horgan said very plainly “trust me” when it came to explaining the missing info on the PR alternatives. Come on he is a politician, of course you can trust him! I am sorry I am of my meds.

  4. Wow…unprecedented. I suggest a cooling off period…for an important decision cooler heads must prevail.

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