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Letter: Proportional Representation counts everyone's vote equally

To the Editor:

The dust seems to have settled finally on the new Ontario Government’s heavy handed intrusion into the democratic process of Toronto’s current civic elections.  Now it should be very clear to all Canadians that under Canada’s Constitution civic government does not exist except at the whim of the Provinces.

All it would take for something similar, or even worse, to be imposed on municipalities here in BC, is for us to persist with our current, archaic, First-Past-the-Post electoral system. This system creates false majority governments that enable a minority of the voters caught up in the passions of the moment to give an extremist party leader with only 40% of the vote the keys to 100% of the power in our Provincial Legislature as just happened in Ontario.

Proportional Representation (Pro Rep) is our best protection against extremists taking control of our government.  If the recent Ontario election had happened under Pro Rep, Doug Ford‘s PC party would only have won 40% of the seats in the Ontario Legislature, not sufficient to form a government.  So, to become Premier, he would have had to persuade another party in the Legislature with at least 10% of the seats to support him. 

Winning the support of another party would have required serious negotiation about his government’s proposed legislative agenda and priorities.  During such negotiations, Premier designate Ford would have to have told his negotiating partner(s) of his plan and his reasons for halving the size of the Toronto City Council.  

I’m confident no responsible leader of any other Ontario political party would have agreed to associate themselves and their party with Doug Ford’s personal vendetta against his former Toronto City Council colleagues.  Under Pro Rep, Doug Ford could never have rammed through his draconian vengeance against the Toronto City Council.

I’m enthusiastically voting for Proportional Representation for BC in the upcoming referendum so that everyone’s vote will count equally in all future elections and so that British Columbians will have an effective shield against extremists ever taking control of our Government.

Candidates in the upcoming civic elections in BC should, perhaps, be asked if they’ve learned the same lesson from what’s just happened in Toronto and now support Pro Rep themselves.

Marty Horswill, Nelson, BC