It’s about fairness
The referendum on proportional representation is about fairness. It is about ensuring that the will of British Columbians on election day is reflected in legislature.
Under the current first-past-the-post system our power, the power of the people, is consolidated into one party, usually through a false majority. Meaning, that party been given 100% of the power, with no accountability, but has earned less than 50% of the support of British Columbians.
This system benefits political parties. So, political parties have become very good at designing campaigns based on safe seats and swing ridings. Safe seats are taken for granted and basically ignored, they represent most of the seats in the province. Swing ridings, are ridings that shift back and forth target a handful of “swing.
I spoke to Bill 40: The Electorial Reform Referendum 2018 Amendment Act (2018).
I certainly appreciate the passion that comes to this place after the 6:00 p.m. hour. I’m wondering why it has taken us so long to get to an extended session. I’m pleased to rise today and speak to Bill 40, the Electoral Reform Referendum 2018 Amendment Act.
Reflect voters intentions
First off, I’d like to reiterate my support for democratic elections in our province that actually reflect how British Columbians voted on election day. Seems weird that I’d have to say that, no? Does it not make us all a little uncomfortable that our current first-past-the-post system is the furthest-from-fair system that we could have? A system that rewards poor, politically driven, divisive decision-making rather than thoughtful, evidence-based policy? In fact, there are numbers of systems that we could adopt that would ensure that voters’ intentions are actually represented at the end of election day.
To hear the official opposition defend the status quo, a status quo that handed them false majority after false majority in a desperate bid for yet another false majority is really quite sad. To hear them confused and muddled, to try to convince British Columbians that it’s better that British Columbians hand them 100 percent of the power with no tools to hold them accountable is really quite something.
If I was to give a recommendation to British Columbians after just a few short months in this place, it would be to protect your power, protect it with everything that you have, because it is really very powerful. Do not give it to any party or any individual without the proper checks and balances. Be very critical of anyone who suggests that you give them your power with no actual accountability measures.
I’m excited that British Columbians have the chance to vote for an electoral system that better represents their wishes as expressed on election day, something which hasn’t happened in this province in a very long time. What we’ve heard from British Columbians of all political stripes and experts from across our country is that we have an opportunity to make our government more democratic, more accountable and more collaborative. The only experience that I have had in this place is one of collaboration, and it’s one that I invite all members to be a part of.
Today I stand in this House and urge British Columbians to embrace this opportunity. I stand in support of the Electoral Reform Referendum 2018 Amendment Act and to give British Columbians the power to change back to the first-past-the-post system after two general elections if they find the change to proportional representation doesn’t serve them.
After all, that is the job that we have in this place. Thank you.