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Letter: Are Liberal leadership contenders abandoning their own supporters?

To The Editor:

So far every declared BC Liberal Party leadership candidate is opposed to the 2018 referendum on electoral reform.

Apparently keeping our current voting system, in which less than 40% of our votes 'wins' most elections is just fine, but if a real 50%+1 majority of us vote to change the voting system in the referendum next year, that would be undemocratic!

That 'alternative logic' aside, have these Liberal leadership candidates thought about how poorly our voting system is serving their own supporters? Almost 100,000 people who voted Liberal in Vancouver and Victoria this spring might as well have stayed home. Liberal candidates received almost 30% of the vote there, but won only 3 of the 18 seats. Conversely, in BC's rural areas the vast majority of NDP and Green votes went nowhere.

Proportional representation is not a partisan issue; it is a universal Canadian value to believe that our vote should count, and that our neighbour's vote should count too. Whether we live in a rural or an urban area, whether we vote Liberal, Green or NDP, our current system is not serving us well.

This June a whole slew of Liberal MLAs spoke glowingly in favour of electoral reform in the Legislature, and this September an Angus-Reid poll found that over half of grass roots BC Liberals support electoral reform too. I sincerely hope these Liberal members will not be ignored, and that a supporter of electoral reform will enter the Liberal Party leadership race.

In a healthy democracy our votes should count and our opinions should be fairly represented. In our parliaments, but also in our political parties.

Sjeng Derkx, Nelson BC