Why I’m excited about the possibilities presented by the referendum on electoral reform:
I think it is terrific that we have a chance to seriously consider improving the way we choose our provincial representatives.
We have the opportunity to adopt a system in which, for example, 40 per cent of votes will earn 40 per cent of seats and, therefore, represent 40 per cent of power.
This seems to be pretty straightforward wisdom and democracy to me.
I love the fact that, if proportional representation is adopted, we will be able to assess its worth for two election cycles before we decide to keep it permanently.
After more than 150 years of the first past the post system, we will have a legitimate option.
This pretty much eliminates the risk of trying something new.
I’m optimistic about the prospects of a system that encourages, even necessitates, co-operation among parties in the legislature.
It would be a relief compared to the often hyper-aggressive winner-take-all spectacle that politics has become.
Countries with PR tend to have more participation from women and minorities. In my mind, this is good.
I’m satisfied that, regardless of which of the three options for PR is chosen, any of the three will produce proportional representation in the legislature.
I like the fact everybody will still have one MLA (or more).
We have nothing to lose by trying a system that has worked well around the world. Even the B.C. Liberal Party, which seems dead set against PR, does not use first past the post when electing its leaders.
How telling is that? I say let’s go for it.
Ron Ste Marie