Letter: Making the argument for First Past the Post

Kelowna resident argues for FPTP

To the editor:

People that are writing and expressing support for electoral change are doing so out of misguided belief that the current system does not work.

Others do not vote because they believe their vote will not count and do not register to vote will not count and do not register to vote.

Their only rationale is that they believe their vote will not count and do not register to vote, your vote will never count as long as you do not vote.

To the others, you need to offer more rational arguments to prove the current electoral system does not work.

In the last provincial election, 89 seats were contested, none by acclimation, one contested by two candidates and one by seven candidates. The rest were contested by three, four, five or six candidates.

Fourty-nine of the 89 seats contested were won by candidates that received more than 50 per cent. This is 56.32 per cent of the contested seats, an absolute majority of the seats contested.

While we do not have a majority government, in that the governing party does not have a majority of the seats, we do have a majority government in the sense that the majority of MLA’s are elected by the majority of those voting in those ridings.

Most interesting are the eight ridings contested by six candidates each. Given this slim number of candidates, the possibility of obtaining an absolute majority is slim. The first market you need to cross is the 16.6 per cent equal share after which it is the climb to more than 50 per cent.

Of this group of ridings, five were decided by more than 50 per cent of the votes cast. That is 62.5 per cent of that group was elected by an absolute majority. That is a better result than for the election as a whole.

While the results may not be to everyone’s liking, the majority of voters elected a majority of the MLA’s now sitting in the legislature. This is how our elections system works.

Our electoral system is not flawed. It allowed for a wide ranging expression of political views by a wide range of candidates and the opportunity for voters to select their preferred candidate whether they are voting for them or not.

The Green Party and NDP want electoral change because they cannot yet sell their message toa majority of B.C. electors. The electoral process should not be used to provide unelectable politicians with paths to power. The Green Party will become government when the people of B.C. think they should be and not before.

I have voted in every election, and the few referendums offered since I have been eligible to vote. The candidates I have voted for have not always been the winner.

My vote has always counted because I voted.

Robert Miles

Kelowna

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