Our friends in B.C have been ‘RUP’ted.

Not being from the Wet coast as our friends there sometimes call their beautiful province, we had to get our information about the current British Columbia voting referendum from the Internet. It made sense until we found out that one of the possible voting systems was called RUP.

This was quite intriguing until I found out that it means Rural-Urban Proportional. It separates the rural mice from the town mice and lets them vote in different ways to come up with what might be a proportional legislature. The devil is in the details though and I found they were inflicting Single Transferable Voting (STV) on the townies while the farmers get to use the also confusing Mixed Member Proportional (MMP). It struck me as something like a game of snakes and ladders. The townies get to climb the ladders and the farmers slide down the snakes.

But the web site never explained the logic behind this screwball idea of using two systems at one time. Why? And, what was most disturbing, was that all the really important decisions about how it would work were to be made by the legislature after the referendum.

Looking at MMP was old home week for a guy who helped defeat that ridiculous idea in Ontario 11 years ago. MMP still puts people in the legislature for whom nobody voted. And the type of list system to be used is to be decided by the legislature?

Dual Member Proportional (DMP) voting is an interesting version of how we elected two-member aldermanic wards in Toronto in the last century. The only difference was that we did not list the parties. Thinking back to all the strategies that were used to cheat that system, it was a good thing it was discontinued.

All of these systems, other than first-past-the-post (FPTP), use lists or a party-selected order of preference. All, other than FPTP, use complicated mathematics to determine the winners. What is most disturbing is that these proportional systems take away the voters right to not only vote for but to help choose the people for whom they can vote. It denies the voters rights that we have had since confederation to help choose our candidates.

I believe that Canadians in B.C. should think long and hard about who would benefit before they start giving up these rights.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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