To the editor:
Voting in modern day democracies provides voters with fair and reasonable outcomes. True or false? Sadly, for many Canadians it is more fiction than fact. “It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem” (GK Chesterton). This fosters huge stumbling blocks for those who advocate genuine democracy. Interested? Read on!
The main reason that a minority of voters have consistently been able to elect governments stems from a faulty electoral system and the propaganda of media and politicians who engage in double thinking. This is where individuals accept two contradictory ideas at the same time, remaining untroubled by the contradiction and expressing one opinion or the other as the occasion requires, according to Wikipedia.
Such people cheerfully ignore the difference between fact and fiction. Self-righteous, they wallow in fundamentals of democracy while ignoring countervailing shortcomings of the FPTP electoral system. It matters not that the majority of voters go unrepresented. Not surprisingly, this has turned many into non-voters.
Historically various countries have sought equality in voter representation. They’ve designed proportional representation systems to bolster their cause and to achieve their ends, emphasizing statistical manipulation of data via formulas. This has allowed for a majority of voters to have elected representation, even if it has meant voters have to rank their choices of candidates on the ballot. This could be likened to election by multiple choice, with no wrong answers! Votes cast for the weakest candidate(s) are recycled until the appropriate number of candidates receive enough votes to be declared elected.
Such a system might satisfy electoral officials and politicians but it still denies many voters their preferred choice of candidate and party. Other formats include giving each voter two ballots, one to choose a constituency candidate and one to indicate a preference for a governing party.
Of the options offered in the upcoming B.C. referendum on electoral reform, each will likely have limitations. I suggest that it’s high time we consider a system based on a synthesis of available data – with votes counting in ridings and across ridings, giving voters equal representation and eliminating the need for costly by elections!
We need a parity electoral system, not an existing PR system selected on simple comparative analyses. I’m confident such a system can be readily devised and remain suitable for posterity. It’s the right thing to do.