When I first discovered proportional representation, it was like a breath of fresh air after a lifetime of frustrating election results that didn’t reflect our votes. Every election, like many of you, the only way I could make FPTP’s winner-take-all voting system work was to plug my nose and vote strategically.
Of course, we all want good MLAs and we want them to make sound decisions based on sound reasoning. Elections are much more than just who wins and who loses. Elections matter, for they chart our future path.
It matters that half the votes we cast do nothing. It matters that single-party ideologues make unilateral decisions without discussion or debate. It matters that we can’t vote for the party we want. It matters that parties resort to hyper-partisan shouting matches. And it matters that good money is thrown away in expensive policy lurch.
For the past year, I have done everything I could to promote pro rep. My fellow campaigners and I are not party insiders, nor are we backroom operators. We are not politicians, nor are we lobbyists. We are your friends and we are your neighbours. When we’re not campaigning, we’re skiing, or hiking, reading a book or enjoying a cold one on a sunny terrace. We are raising our children, we are you.
Opportunities like this referendum are rare. Whether we like it or not, the world is changing and FPTP is failing to protect us. Frankly, that scares me. We need a resilient and stable voting system. We need a system that is fair and inclusive and works for the greater good of all residents.