Elections should reflect voters’ will

Re: “Proportional representation is no panacea,” comment, Sept. 30.

People keep writing letters and op-eds asserting that democracy is not served if the election system, be it proportional representation or first past the post, produces results the writers don’t like.

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In this one, the writer says that the PR systems in Sweden and Germany have “failed to prevent” the election of far-right members, so we shouldn’t adopt a similar system in B.C. in case that might happen here. Or we should rig the system so that fringe parties, such as neo-Nazis (and the Greens?) don’t achieve representation, notwithstanding the fact that some people voted for them.

The first-past-the-post elections of U.S. President Donald Trump and Ontario Premier Doug Ford are referred to as “anti-democratic results.” Although those elected appear to have little regard for traditional democracy, I don’t think any rigging of either PR or FPTP can be devised to solve that.

The arguments on both sides seem to go something like: “Let’s have a system that will produce a result I like” rather than: “Regardless of whether or not I like it, let’s have a system where the result reflects the will of the voters.”

It’s a warped form of democracy to fashion a system that ensures that we don’t elect representatives whose politics aren’t acceptable to a majority of the electorate.

Education, not disenfranchisement, is how we have to deal with fringe views.

John G. Smith

Qualicum Beach

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