Vote for a system that is inclusive and fair

Letter to the Editor

Editor:

The rules guiding democracy in Canada and British Columbia have not always been as fair and inclusive as they are today.

In the era of 1657, only a limited segment of the population (primarily affluent men who had sufficient ownership of property, assets, rent or paid taxes of specified amount) were permitted to vote in what we now call Canada.  Changes since that time have allowed more and more citizens to vote.

We began:  allowing Catholics to vote in 1829;  allowing women to vote in 1917/1918;  and permitted Aboriginal Peoples to vote without having to give away treaty rights in 1960.  It is no longer acceptable to deny individuals the right to cast a vote because of their wealth status, religion, sex or ancestry.

While most citizens of Canada and B.C. are now permitted to vote – most votes are ignored in deciding which party will govern.  This is because our current voting system usually grants absolute power to political parties that receive less than 50 per cent of the vote.

The number of votes used in deciding the government will increase significantly under all three of the proportional representation (Pro-Rep) options on the B.C. referendum.  A vote in favour of proportional representation is a vote to making our voting system more fair and inclusive.

In addition to being more fair and inclusive, Pro-Rep will provide you with more than one local MLA (usually from different political parties) to discuss your concerns.

Please vote for a system that is more inclusive and fair;  that respects more of the votes that are cast;  and increases the willingness of your MLAs to listen to you.  Please vote in favour of proportional representation (Pro-Rep) in the B.C. referendum.

Doug Beckett

Prince George