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