Voter supports new system to make MLAs accountable

January 6, 2009

Originally published in The Times
Tuesday, January 06, 2009

EDITOR, THE TIMES:

Re: Keith Baldrey’s column in last Friday’s Times, entitled Predicting political future:

In reading Keith Baldrey’s predictions for 2009, the following sentence really jumped out at me: “The B.C. election outcome will come down to about a half dozen seats.”

This is another delightful feature of our First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system: only a few voters in a few “swing ridings” really matter, and the rest of us can be safely ignored.

I am sure that the government will treat these swing ridings very well and provide them with lots of goodies using our tax dollars.

Any government that wanted to be re-elected would. This is why the Conservatives spent so much money in Quebec prior to the last election – not because they love high spending!

And the rest of us living in “safe ridings” (ridings where everyone knows who will win ahead of time) won’t even be able to hold our local MLAs accountable for this. And if we wanted to try, with only two main parties to choose from who else would we vote for that wasn’t worse?

The more I learn about our FPTP voting system the more I understand that its flaws extend far beyond producing frequent false majorities and the occasional wrong winner. It is a broken system that has to go.

And I agree with the B.C. Citizens’ Assembly on electoral reform: BC-STV is a far better voting system that will make almost every vote count and every MLA accountable.

Let’s make sure to pass this referendum on May 12.

Willem Bruce Krayenhoff,

Vancouver

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One Response to “Voter supports new system to make MLAs accountable”

  1. Ratel Says:

    His article is kind of stunning in some other ways too. He talks about the Greens failing to win a seat again. He then berates Green voters who he imagines will begin to wonder “if its really worth the effort” or if they should just give up. Of course, they can’t win because their support is spread widely across the province and FPTP rewards regionally focused support. He then blithely rounds off his predictions with a toss off phrase that “oh ya, the STV referendum will fail again”. It doesn’t seem that Mr. Baldrey sees the irony in all these related issues which could be solved by a different outcome to this last, almost forgotten prediction. Or maybe the whole article is an excercise in very subtle, dry satire and it just went over my head. Maybe.


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