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LETTER – Proportional representation isn’t just about stats and data

Re: Nancy Bepple column, ‘Should the side with the most marbles always win the game?, ArmchairMayor.ca, Oct. 24, 2018:

You’re right, Nancy, electoral reform advocates are a wonderfully nerdy bunch. You may have seen us at Farmers’ Markets around the province this summer, armed with the pie charts and statistics that we love. And of course it’s entirely true that the evidence consistently shows that countries using proportional representation tend to have better economic, social, and environmental results. But proportional representation isn’t about stats and data. It’s about government that gets the big things right.

Want consistent energy policy that makes our province an attractive place to invest, with secure long-term jobs? Let’s vote for a system that avoids the back and forth policy swings which we’ve come to expect under First Past the Post, and which put major investments at risk. Countries using pro rep have higher growth, on average.

Want a government that keeps its word on campaign promises like upgrading highways or hospitals in your neck of the woods? Let’s adopt a system where politicians can be held to account more easily, where no seats are “safe”.

Want a government that takes childcare for our kids and healthcare for our aging parents seriously? Then let’s support proportional representation, where every vote must be earned because voters have more choice. Studies show that policy under pro rep tends to better meet the needs of the “average voter”.

Under proportional representation, government works in the best interests of a majority of citizens, rather than catering to a privileged elite. It’s about policies that work for all of us.

Proportional representation is not about pie charts. It’s about getting what we voted for in our government and in our communities. When your ballot arrives this week, please consider marking it in support of proportional representation, and mailing it back well before the November 30 deadline. Because when it comes to real life (not just pie charts), proportional representation works better.

GISELA RUCKERT
Fair Vote Kamloops

PS We have a lot to gain and very little to lose. We are having a “confirmatory referendum” after two terms, so we will have a chance to undo the change if we don’t like how it’s working. But bear in mind that nowhere where citizens have had a chance to use a proportional system have they voted to go back – apparently voters enjoy having more choice!

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About Mel Rothenburger (6186 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.

4 Comments on LETTER – Proportional representation isn’t just about stats and data

  1. Another great letter Gisela. You explain things in a clear, and reasoned way that makes it possible for everyone to understand.

  2. Ken Mcclelland // October 25, 2018 at 9:55 AM // Reply

    Want single-issue agenda-driven parties that hold a balance of power and threaten to withdraw their support of good public policy (ring any bells?) until they get their way on their pet issue? Vote yes for PR….

    • Youv’e been misinformed on this Ken. No party gets a seat until they have at least 5% of the popular vote and then that would be only mean one or two seats. It is quite probable that there will be four major parties in the running after PR gets implemented. Depending on the issue any one could potentially hold the “balance of power”. It may take a year or so but once people get de-polarized and politicians shed their belligerence a PR government can function far better here in BC than what we have had the last few decades. I am optimistic and have faith in the people of BC.

    • That’s a ridiculous POV. Just won’t happen.

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