LETTER: Referendum questions are clear and simple

LETTER: Referendum questions are clear and simple

This is not rocket science. There are no skill-testing questions. You don’t need calculus.

Dear Editor:

Would you like everyone at the table to have scrambled eggs, or waffles for breakfast? If we pick waffles, would you rather have them with syrup, marmalade, or blueberry sauce?

This is how complex the questions are on the referendum ballot for proportional representation.

This is not rocket science. There are no skill-testing questions. You don’t need calculus.

I was really disappointed to see the Summerland Chamber of Commerce say this referendum is needlessly complex, and I gotta ask; how dumb do they think we are?

These questions are clear and simple.

Do you want proportional representation? That’s the idea that a party that gets 40 per cent of the votes deserves 40 per cent of the seats.

It’s also the idea that every vote should count.

Right now, only half of B.C. ballots actually help elect someone to the legislature. With pro rep, nearly every ballot would actually help elect someone chosen by that ballot.

If we get proportional representation, what system do you want?

First of all, this is an optional question. You don’t need to answer it! But yes, if you want to answer it, you should learn what the systems are.

There’s lots of places you can learn about each system, including Elections BC and www.FairVote.ca/PR4BC. You can even type the name of each system into YouTube and watch a five-minute video.

The letter also gets it wrong on the facts.

Single Transferrable Vote is a proportional system, and it’s incorporated into one of the systems on the ballot (Rural-Urban Proportional). Getting it wrong on the facts is something common for groups which oppose PR.

Here’s something else they keep getting wrong: You won’t lose your local representative. Every system on the ballot, no matter what, keeps your local representative.

No matter what, you’ll be voting for a person, not a party, in your local riding, and your local MLA will be chosen by your local votes.

Proportional representation is about making all our votes count here in the Okanagan, and getting all of us represented, by people who share our local views and values.

It’s about being able to vote for the person you really like, without worrying that you’ll help someone you really don’t like win.

Don’t let powerful groups, afraid of losing their unfair power, tell you to be afraid of giving power back to the voters.

Vote for PR in the referendum, to make all our voices heard and all our votes count.

Ben Petkau


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