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

Motorcyclist medevaced to Kelowna after collision with deer near Apex Mountain Resort

Male suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries to his neck

PHOTOS: What makes a winning Caesar?

Three local bartenders competed to make the best Caesar in Penticton

Penticton Legion’s grand reopening a success, says president

17 new members have signed up since the reopening Aug. 1

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

OHA alumna welcomed as new assistant coach for women’s varsity team

Alyssa MacMillan attended OHA from 2011 to 2016

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Most Read