For the past few months, there has been a lot of debate (as there should be) on whether or not we should switch to a Proportional Representation (PR) voting system.
There are several glaring flaws in the way that this referendum has been organized, many of which have been highlighted by a number of credible political reporters.
However, out of all of the arguments that have been made, one of the things that most people tend to forget about is cost. Big governments tend to cost more to run. In order to accommodate that growth, taxes need to be raised or created which ultimately leads to life becoming much less affordable in British Columbia.
One Fraser Institute study found that Proportional Representation governments cost countries 24.3 per cent more than countries who operate on a First Past the Post system. They attributed this large deficit to coalition governments needing to spend more on the niche interests of their partners.
We have already seen evidence of this increased coalition cost in the current Green/NDP arrangement, where an intermediary body has been created to help facilitate agreements between the two parties to the tune of $1 million dollars over four years. That one secretariat only serves two parties.
As PR tends to create coalition governments, the likelihood of more expensive intermediaries increases exponentially. The impact of a 24.3 per cent jump in expenses as a per cent of GDP in B.C. would see government costs rise more than 13 billion dollars. This would mean either increased taxation or more provincial debt.
In tax terms, raising that money would require more than doubling income tax revenues (a 132 per cent increase) or a combination of other taxes.
The end result of all of this means that several billion dollars will be funnelled away from public projects to pay for more bureaucracy.
A large and overpaid bureaucracy does not lead to better or more services for you — it means slower government, more taxes, and less money in your pocket.
Greg Kyllo, MLA — Shuswap