When I read in The Journal the accounts of defacement of signs in our area and slurs against First Nations people, I feel sorry for the perpetrators of these acts. I feel sorry because these individuals miss the beauty, the rhythm, and the wisdom of different cultures, different faiths, and different colours.
In our extended family we have one young man (not a local) who spends a lot of time on the Internet, and he is full of that kind of behaviour. We still love him, but we don’t want to hear his toxic rhetoric or be near him or have him near our young children. What a waste—for all of us.
“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” (Chief Seattle, 1854).
One of the things that first attracted me to proportional representation (PR)—apart from the fact that it just made sense—is that it is supported by people across the political spectrum. At my first PR meeting in 2004, I sat next to someone from the Canadian Rate Payer’s Federation, and Andrew Coyne was the highly entertaining keynote speaker.
PR is no more a lefty plot, concocted to keep their side in power, than it is a right wing think tank’s solution to solve their electoral woes. That gives it some real credibility. Proportional representation simply levels the playing field so all parties, politicians, and voters get treated the same.
In B.C., as we embark on our third referendum on the subject in a decade-and-a-half, it’s good to remember that the first two referenda were initiated by Gordon Campbell and the Liberals. Now it happens to be the NDP and the Greens who are putting it on the ballot.
I’ve talked to lots of people, and the most common complaint I hear about PR is way more about the party that promoted it, rather than the concept itself. When Campbell put PR on the ballot, the NDP were against. Now the NDP have put it on the ballot and the Liberals are against. This is nothing more than ol’ divisive partisan politics.
The way I see it, proportional representation keeps all the parties on a leash, and it puts the leash in our hands. Isn’t that what democracy is all about? Demos: the people. Kratos: to rule. The people rule, or if you prefer, the people hold the leash.