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Letters  

The system is broken

Just before the finance rules for the proportional representation referendum were implemented, big money was in full force in B.C.’s newspapers.

One ad was from the lobby group ICBA, which has donated $441,000 to the BC Liberals since 2005 – $79,400 was last year before the big money ban kicked in. That group is also using their money to seek an injunction against the referendum.

Meanwhile local BC Liberal MLAs are in full force seeding misinformation and confusion (Elections BC has commented that both ballot questions are clear and simple to understand). What is confusing is whether BC Liberals care so deeply about democracy that they genuinely don’t think the process is fair, or if they simply don’t like proportional representation.

Hypocrisy is shameless in claims that a 50 per cent majority to decide the referendum is insufficient while advocating for the current system, in which fewer share of the votes has produced governments with 100 per cent of the power in the last 15 of 16 elections!

The current system prevents this region from having any influence on government as BC Liberal MLAs hold a monopoly and are not a part of government. Furthermore, the current system motivates constant electioneering for the party and bashing opponents rather than advocating for constructive solutions for constituents.

A local example is the BC Liberal hosted forum on the speculation tax that was more of a mean spirited partisan rally instead of a community event seeking ways to fix the housing crisis. Know that the BC Greens to work with the BC Liberals on many occasions, but they refuse.

In absence of influential local MLAs, Kelowna and West Kelowna mayors went directly to the Leader of the Green Party and NDP to plead their case. Unfortunately for the region, the premier didn’t budge.

Proportional representation is not experimental or partisan, 85 per cent of OECD countries use it. It’s having a system that gives a majority of voters a voice in decision-making and more accountability. Importantly, it avoids the growing number of instances of corruption being uncovered.

Last year, the Wall Street Journal gave BC the distinction as the Wild West of Political Cash. This year, the Globe and Mail asks if BC is the Corruption Capital of Canada.

It is now clearer than ever: The current system is broken.

Robert Stupka



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