Voting-system details are easy to find

Re: “Voters need more details on system,” letter, Oct. 5.

The letter-writer asks for details on the proposed new voting system. A simple internet search provides Wikipedia’s numbers. Under proportional representation, the 2017 election results would look similar to what we have now, with B.C. Liberals and NDP holding roughly equal seats (37 and 36). But the Green Party, with 16.8 per cent of the popular vote, would hold 14 seats.

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Going back three more elections, we see something similar. The Greens would have won seven or eight seats each time, thus enabling them to form a coalition with either the Liberals or the NDP.

Only one recent election resulted in a true majority by one party — in 2001 when Gordon Campbell’s Liberals won 58 per cent of the popular vote. Before that, we saw the NDP elected in 1991 and 1996 with a false majority (40 per cent of the vote). If PR were in effect then, the Liberals and Social Credit could have formed a coalition.

Of course, this is pure speculation because it’s likely that under PR many people would vote differently. Strategic voting would be a thing of the past because voters could choose the party whose vision best reflects their own.

I support PR for this reason. For too long, we have been held hostage by parties that receive less than 40 per cent of the vote.

Under proportional representation, parties have to co-operate to get things done. This referendum is a chance to bring representative democracy to B.C.

Joanna Pettit


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