Former cabinet minister Rick Thorpe on the Proportional Representation referendum
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s an old saying because it’s true.
British Columbia has been successful in part because our electoral system – known as First Past the Post – is stable, simple, and successful. That stability is the result of British Columbians in every region of the province voting to elect their MLA to account for the decisions they make.
Take it from a retired MLA: a politician may be away from home a lot; in the legislature in Victoria or traveling around the province. But the accountability for the next election is never out of their mind – or the minds of their constituents.
Now the NDP and Green Party want to change our proven voting process to a system where at least 40% of our MLAs will be elected on a list of candidates selected by party bosses – not you, the voter. This is called “proportional representation.”
The NDP/Greens will also be changing the BC electoral map and making the new rules and regulations – but only after the referendum.
They’re asking BC voters to support proportional representation this fall without showing us what the ridings will look like.
So much for openness and transparency.
The NDP/Greens say “trust us.”
What the NDP/Greens are really doing is stacking the deck. For themselves, and for the large block of votes of Vancouver to be redistributed to the Interior and Rural BC. They will use Vancouver’s population base to overwhelm the rest of B.C.
They’re doing this because they think it will ensure their two parties stay in power.
And that’s what this is really all about.
Proportional Representation would no doubt lead to coalition governments, dependent on fringe parties (the minority) which has been in case wherever proportional representation has been used.
These fringe parties – on both the left and right – will hold the balance of power. That means special interests, and shady backroom deals.
Thus, the minority will control the majority.
John Horgan recently said at UBCM in Whistler: “join me and take a leap of faith on a change that works around the world.”
Look at recent elections in Germany, where it took six months and backroom deals to form a government, holding on by a thread. Or look at Northern Ireland, now more than 600 days without a government. Belgium went 589 days without a government, Spain went 10 months without an elected government.
Iceland had three elections in five years.
Is this stability? No – but this is proportional representation the way the NDP/Greens want it.
So why would we change our proven way of electing our government?
Please vote for stability. Please vote to keep our time-tested way of electing our MLAs and our government.
And remember – you only have to vote for the first question on the ballot.
“One (vote) and done.”
Rick Thorpe was a cabinet minister in a variety of portfolios from 2001 to 2008, and served as MLA for Okanagan-Penticton-Westside from 1996 to 2009.