LETTER: Against proportional representation

From reader Rod Retzlaff

Re: “Proportional representation: it’s almost time for champagne” (Letters, Oct. 25)

Ann Remnant’s letter suggesting that British Columbians are on the cusp of throwing out our current Democratic voting system sends chills up my spine.

The first thing we should do is stop denigrating the current system, which has been doing a good job for most of the last 150 years, by calling it the “First Past the Post” system (or as Ms. Remnant refers to it the “FPTP”).

FPTP infers that the fastest contestant wins the race. It does not describe our current system, which elects the person in each riding who gets the most votes. By this system we elect one of our own people, from our own riding, in the hope that they will have a good understanding of what we require.

In a proportional system, we won’t necessarily get a representative from our own riding, because smaller parties, which don’t have the numbers to actually get elected anywhere, will still get a seat based on their small percentage of the vote. These new representatives will need to be responsible for representing someone, and it very well might be you, even though they know (not very much) about your riding or its needs.

A proportional system could also lead to an avalanche of small parties holding a small percentage of the overall vote attaining one or two seats, holding the system to ransom, and rendering it completely unworkable.

Our current system may not be perfect, but it is simple, and well understood by most voters. Any new system will definitely be less so.

When it comes to democracy, simple is less corruptible than complicated, and it goes without saying that no matter what the system, there are those who will do their best to corrupt the process for their own gain.

We have a good and thriving democracy. It may not be perfect, but we would truly be foolish to get rid of it. Proponents promise a system where “every vote counts.” Politics is a contest, and in a contest someone has to win, and someone has to lose. “Every vote counts” is just not a realistic goal.

Rod Retzlaff

Nelson

Just Posted

Nelson’s Cedar Grove Estates affordable housing site to receive $3.2 million in renos

The project was made public during the Nelson CARES annual general meeting

Woman stabbed in downtown Nelson

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

If you’ll be away on voting day, you can vote now

The polls are open at Elections Canada in Nelson

New Railtown plaza to be funded by Columbia Basin Trust

The Trust is funding 12 outdoor community projects

‘I’d do it again,’ says Nelson man who swam naked, drunk into Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Second bat found at Greater Victoria elementary school tests positive for rabies

Island Health confirms second rabies case, this time in Saanich

Most Read