The Next 7 Points
There were just too many No-Rep non-arguments to inundate readers with them in one post, so if you found the first half interesting enough to check out this one, here we go: panic buttons and trigger phrases with no logic to back them up.
IX. Too Complex (Big Roar)
There is no evidence that voters are worried about this in other countries with Pro Rep, although voter knowledge of politics is higher in Pro Rep countries thatn in FPTP countries. An interesting thought; does Pro Rep cause more informed voters, or to informed voters choose Pro Rep? At the riding level, one ballot, one X gives the impression of simplicity to FPTP. If FPTP is so simple, how many of you can explain a party with 40% of the vote getting a majority in the Legislature so often?
X. Strong, Stable Government (Roar)
In the first place, see “Economic Stability” and “Coalition Governments” in Part 1. There are many forms of governments that provide stability in the form of longevity; Louis XIV reigned for 72 years. I doubt that one party being in power for 15 years at a time is a great advertisement for democracy. Nice for their friends, though.
As far as “strong” goes, I’m not interested in a strong government when it only represents 40% of the voters and is in power 75% of the time. These people only want strong government when their side wins.
XI. Backroom Deals (Roar) with smaller parties to get into power
Let’s break that into two. In the first place, there’s nothing wrong with private meetings between MLAs. It’s called negotiation and compromise, which is what politics is all about. If you ask politicians to negotiate in public what do you get? Question Period, and we all know how productive that is.
As far as the “smaller parties,” Canada isn’t like Italy. The “small parties” the Liberals are worried about are the Greens, who will ally with the NDP, and the Conservatives, who have about 17% support in the province right now, and are the party the Liberals will have to deal with in order to govern in the future. Better for voters to have a coalition out in the open than to be ruled by a backroom deal like the Liberals made with all the right wingers to make their false majority work.
XII. Provincial-wide priority trumps local preferences
This sounds like a negative. It isn’t, unless you’re a Liberal in a safe riding. It’s what’s wrong with FPTP. Do you think Christie Clark gave a damn about local preferences in the Peace River when she slammed the Site C Dam on one of her own ridings? Pro Rep makes sure it really is a provincial wide priority before trampling all over local people.
XIII. Pro-rep will take power from voters and give it to political elites (Big Roar!)
Somehow the “Fringe Groups” have suddenly become political elites. They have this one exactly backward. Power will be taken from the Liberals and given to the voters.
XIV. Hung Parliaments (Big Roar)
Yes, Germany took 10 weeks to form a government recently. This doesn’t happen that often. If it does, there’s a serious social problem to solve, and it’s up to politicians to solve it. How do FPTP parties solve it? “We won, and now you’ll do what we say. Suck it up, losers.” A fine way to deal with the problems we face.
And BTW, Christie Clark cancelled the Fall Sitting of the Legislature in 2013. Our MLAs only sat for 36 out of the next 579 days. That’s under FPTP, when the Liberals were completely in power and could govern the province any way they liked through Orders in Council.
XV. LAST AND MOST IMPORTANT MAIN ARGUMENT: This is NOT a “Change-Versus-No Change” situation
The “No Rep” side would have you believe that the Good Old Days can continue forever, and a “No” vote is going to keep democracy in British Columbia rolling straight and true on its rails for the appreciable future. The only thing that’s going to continue for the forseeable future is the Liberals’ hold on the Legislature. Check out my last week’s article, “Pro Rep Referendum: The Missing Link,” which discusses the fact that society is changing, technology is changing and democracy will lose its punch if it doesn’t change along with everything else. Big business, big political parties, and populist demagogues have learned to manipulate our governmental systems. The only defense the average voter has is to opt for a system that gives voters more power.
If things don’t get better, they’re going to get worse. That’s the only choice we have right now. 80 democracies in the world have made the change. It’s Canada’s turn.