If you are looking for a good reason to vote for proportional representation or PR, you just need to look at the people telling you not to.
Last week we saw a Vancouver millionaire buy up the front and back covers of papers across the province on behalf of a group ironically named Fair Referendum. Has anyone else noticed that the opponents of PR seem to be well-monied? Not families, not workers. Seems the super-loaded understand quite well how to keep their power entrenched.
Our current First Past the Post voting system gives the rich a pretty good return on their lobbying investments. That is why their front people are the same paid lobbyists that work for big money interests. Are they afraid of democracy? Proportional Representation increases voter influence through better representation, that makes it harder for big money to buy politicians.
Proponents of PR are environmentalists and social justice advocates that understand that countries with PR have more cooperative decision making and long-term thinking. They have stable governments with more diverse representation and better policy for real people struggling with affordability. The ‘yes’ to PR camp includes professors of political science, teachers, workers, families, renters, health care advocates and poverty reduction experts. We are grassroots people asking for a better system that makes everyone’s vote count. We are not paid lobbyists or millionaires.
The full-page ads from the ‘no’ side are pretty revealing. July 1 begins the official campaign period for the fall referendum, this means no more funding from unions or corporations. Clearly, they were spending money while they could. I think we need to ask ourselves why there is so much interest from big money to maintain our current system?
How about the novel idea of learning from our nation’s leading expert on electoral reform and Associate Professor at York University. Let’s stop getting info from ads from millionaires, we all know what happens when money ‘trumps’ facts. Consider attending Dr. Dennis Pilon’s presentation “Changing BC’s Voting System, Arguments and Facts,’ held on July 3. It’s free.