Editorial: The question should be simple

A vote on proportional representation shouldn’t be complicated

If the NDP and Greens hold true to their promise, B.C. will go to the polls to answer the question of whether or not they want to switch to some form of proportional representation.

A simple question — even just yes or no — is not a bad thing.

We’ve been in this position twice before and the proposition failed. But that wasn’t necessarily, as the Liberals would have you believe, because the people didn’t want to switch from first-past-the-post system. Instead, you might want to consider how high the bar was set for the referendums to pass, and how complex and confusing the B.C. Single Transferable Vote System seemed to many people.

Once you understood it, BC-STV was a straightforward concept. But getting to that understanding required at least a couple of advanced math classes.

The Liberals are also taking the position that proportional representation would cause a string of minority governments, essentially making it impossible to govern the province.

They’re half right. There will be more minority governments, but if our parties and elected representatives choose to work together rather than take the first chance to bring the government down, legislation that supports the people of B.C. rather than special interest groups might stand a chance of getting passed.

Good things can happen under minority governments; Medicare and the Canada Pension Plan being two good examples.

First past the post does tend to ensure majority governments, but it has the fatal flaw of allowing, in many ridings, a candidate with less than 50 per cent of the vote — more people voting against the candidate than for — to take the riding.

When it finally comes to a vote, the question isn’t really yes or no to proportional representation. It’s question of whether we want to continue with a system that creates a government that represents a minority of British Columbians or move to one that represents the population fairly.

Just Posted

First Things First and Penticton Lakeside Resort hosting environmental all-candidates debate Oct. 15

Ahead of the debate, there will be a round table discussion with the candidates

Final day of racing approaching at the Penticton Speedway

The Halloween finale starts at 2 p.m. on Oct. 27.

Travelling around the world of Penticton’s cuisines with Foodtopia

The 500 block celebrated the variety of restaurants on Main Street with a night of specials.

Parts of KVR Trail becoming dumping ground for stolen vehicles

More vehicles are turning up due to more patrolling, says Const. James Grandy

Hungry can enjoy Thanksgiving meal thanks to Soupateria volunteers

Thanksgiving and Christmas busiest time of year, says volunteer Randy Cranston

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Shuswap ski area vies for $250,000 as top-four finalist in national contest

Help needed to accumulate votes or ‘clicks’ Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday for trail lighting project

Letter: Policies need to be put into context

Reader wants to put party policies into the context of money compared to the natural world.

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

Most Read