Arguments for proportional representation unconvincing

Arguments for proportional representation unconvincing

They would/should have accepted the results of the first vote.

Arguments for proportional representation unconvincing

Re: Proportional representation.

Starting with a paragraph from the article “Furstenau said that in the last election on Vancouver Island, the NDP received 40 per cent of the vote, while the Greens and the Liberals received about 30 per cent each.” These percentages were not reflected province wide.

The actual results in the last provincial election were, the Liberals 796,672 votes, or 40.36 per cent of the total; the New Democratic Party 795,106 votes, or 40.28 per cent of the total; the Green Party 332,387 votes, or 16.84 per cent of the total; and other candidates 49,749 votes, or 2.52 per cent of the total. Is Ms. Furstenau attempting to deceive the electorate by being obtuse?

Of course, if the proponents of this proposition believed in democracy, we would not be voting on this question for the third time. They would/should have accepted the results of the first vote. Democracy, from their point of view, only occurs when they get their own way. These previous referenda where held under the concept of an absolute majority, having only two possible outcomes. Whereas, in any vote that involves more than two options then any outcome must be based on the notion of a “relative majority”. Labour law springs to mind. When companies are unionized or de-certified based on the number of ballots cast. Everyone then is bound by the result.

Taking the argument of Ms. Furstenau and applying it in reverse to her premise, then we see that (using the total figures) 40.36 per cent Liberal, 40.27 per cent NDP Other 2.52 per cent, for a total of 83.15 per cent. The voters clearly rejected the notion that the Green Party should form the government . Which of course led them to turn quisling. Her notion of democracy is further highlighted when it comes to issues that the majority are in favour of. Neither she, or her party stand in the legislature and state her constituents desire(s). Instead she parrots the party line. Too many politicians of all parties have forgotten that democracy is accepting the will of the majority even though they personally disagree.

Another quote from the article, “Furstenau said those who want to keep the first-past-the-post system in place are spreading misleading information.” The words pot, kettle and black spring to mind.

She goes on to say that this proposed system would not lead to a long list of parties. Not much homework done on that one. Israel, if I counted them correctly, has 16 in the Knesset and 29 other parties. Belgium has 14. Sweden who has the balance of power being held by a far right, anti-immigrant party has nine main parties and 76 minor ones.

Ending with a quote that I agree with. “We need, now more than ever elected people whose job it is to represent every citizen, and to create a coherent vision and platform to best serve the current and future generations of the province.” Every politician is already honour bound to adhere to this. One often wonders why they don’t. The manifestos that the parties follow are drawn up by so few, that their myopic and narrow viewpoint should be set aside once elected. Regrettably this does not happen.

Ian Kimm


Cowichan Valley Citizen