6) ELECTORAL REFORM: THE NEXT CONTEST
People's Voice Editorial
what may be the last chance in a generation to win voting reforms in British Columbia, the
province will hold a mail-in referendum later this year. Voters will choose,
either to keep the current first-past-the-post system, or to replace
"FPTP" by a form of proportional representation. As longstanding
supporters of PR, we urge British Columbians to back a change to elect a
legislature which more accurately reflects their range of political views. Such
a shift would have two major benefits. "Mainstream" (usually
pro-corporate) parties would find it more difficult to win artificially large
majorities with far less than fifty percent of the total votes, and then ignore
popular protests against their right-wing policies. PR would also give a better
shot at electing candidates from smaller parties - such as the Communist MPs
and members of legislatures who were among the first voices in Canada
to demand old age pensions, unemployment insurance, public child care, and
universal health care.
while BC's NDP government and their Green partners favour scrapping FPTP, when
the referendum is held, the corporate media and the big business Liberals will
be predicting disaster if first-past-the-vote loses. Another barrier is also in
the way. Two previous referenda on BC's voting system offered the "Single
Transferable Vote" option. Whatever STV's merits or faults, this is not a
proportional system. Elections under the proposed BC-STV map would have
resulted in very little change, other than the likely election of a couple of
Greens - who won three seats under FPTP last spring.
urge people's Voice readers on the west coast to take the provincial
government's online questionnaire on options for the mail-in ballot. Indicate
your strong support for a mixed-member proportional rep option, as the best way
to give voters the opportunity to support a strong left-wing alternative such
as the Communist Party.
(The above article is from the February 15-28, 2018, issue
of People's Voice, Canada's
leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is
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