Letter: Get educated on electoral reform question

Letter: Get educated on electoral reform question

Kelowna letter-writer says it’s an important decision voters will be making this year

To the editor:

I am a former member of the Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform for B.C., the group of 162 voters that worked in 2004 to study electoral systems and make a recommendation for all of B.C. on electoral reform. We first decided that change was needed from our current first-past-the-post (FPTP) system We then choose BC-STV, a single transferable voting system.

It was the view of that assembly in 2004 that STV offered far more choice to the voter. They could vote based on party, geography, they could focus on a candidate, etc. The idea of having more choice was important to the voter and we believed that the STV system not only provided more choice, but more meaningful choice. The expanded choice offered by the preferential ballot in BC-STV provided all voters more power over the MLA to serve the voters of the riding.

The other day I received the How We Vote pamphlet in the mail. We all have the opportunity to engage again in the process by answering a questionnaire, and or submitting written feedback to Engage.gov.bc.ca/Howwevote.

I suggest that you narrow your focus to two electoral systems that would be appropriate for BC. MMP (Multi Member Plurality) and STV (Single Transferable Vote). These two electoral systems are clearly the most commonly used systems around the world and both generate proportional results. The engage website also has a section that gives a good general description of three electoral systems.

After more than a decade of being away from the Citizens Assembly I still strongly support the decisions we made as voters for all voters of B.C. I don’t believe that the values and concerns B.C. voters expressed to us 2004 have changed. They are still the concerns we share today. We need to make a change from our current FPTP system and BC-STV is still clearly the best alternative for B.C.

Get educated and make an informed decision. All your future votes are in the balance.

Harley Nyen, Kelowna

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