Voting reform or disaster in B.C.

Our friends on the left coast must be already smoking something serious. I am stunned by what they are suggesting as the choice for reformed voting in British Columbia. While the proposition is obviously designed to push people to proportional representation. I would suggest that they consider the better option—for the NDP framers of the vote to “get stuffed.”

The only seemingly sensible option of the three proposed systems of voting is plain and simple mixed member proportional (MMP) voting. While it is a solution that can make unaware people happy, it is at least understandable. You have much larger electoral districts where you can vote for an individual. Your vote also is counted to allocate 40 per cent of the legislative seats to unelected party lists. Many people already vote just for a party, so there is nothing particularly creative about that.

It is the second and third options that baffle people. The proposition of dual-member proportional voting does not seem to have been tried before. It simply means that the candidate with the most votes wins the electoral seat and the person with the second most votes might or might not be allocated a seat somewhere on a proportional basis. I remember how much fun we had with the various tricks we used in Toronto aldermanic elections when they were for two-member wards. You would not believe how easy it was to cook that choice.

I have never heard of a system such as rural-urban proportional. Whomever dreamed this up certainly did not think farmers were very smart. They actually want to have the farmers vote for mixed member proportional members and the cities and towns to vote under a single-transferable vote. As B.C. voters have already rejected single-transferable voting twice, I am sure they would continue to give that sillyness a wide berth.

But once again we have the people who framed this foolishness passing the buck when it comes to promoting it. They are actually going to let two sides of the question duke it out and the government will give them $500,000 each to cover their expenses.

What has me more concerned is the idea of a mail-in ballot. I would feel more confident of an Internet ballot and a mail-in option for those who lack the Internet access.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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