LETTER: Every vote counts

Penticton letter writer says first-past-the-post system should stay.

In your editorial (Western News, Sept. 14, Electoral reform) you roll out the old saw about people whose candidate did not win an election, using the first-past-the-post system, feeling that their vote didn’t count.

That is not true!

Every vote does count. In the 2011 election, the NDP did not form the government, but they did so much better than expected, they became the official opposition. The whole country, which had previously thought of the NDP as an insignificant party, except as a thorn in the side of government, then had to take the NDP seriously as a viable contender. Everyone who voted NDP can know that they helped make this transformation. Whether their candidate won or not, their voted counted in the overall success in putting the NDP in the forefront of federal politics.

In other elections besides elections of governments, the overwhelming majority use the first-past-the-post system and it works well for them.

In one of the competing systems, individual votes can be transferred to other candidates. Even if a person voted for the candidate who was the eventual winner, there is no guarantee that the person’s vote will be counted for that candidate. In the other system, it seems that the shifting of votes would be by parties, rather than individuals.

If you want your vote to be counted for the candidate you actually vote for, the only way it will happen is with the first-past-the-post system.

Florence Barton

Penticton