It's all about control

Reading Jon Manchester’s article on proportional representation was an excellent reminder that our current political system was designed to produce a two-party system of government that would allow the colonial ‘Mothers’ to control ‘their’ colonies – not to produce democratic governments that are controlled by the people.

A political party representing about 1/3 of the electorate is a very shaky foundation for any government, and awarding it the majority of the seats in the legislature and giving the leaders the powers of a dictator is incomprehensible, and defies our basic human right to have free and democratic governments. 

It has also promoted a very adversarial relationship between the opposition parties, who are more concerned with destroying all the good work they may have done, for the exclusive purpose of paving the way to win the next election.

The political instability and uncertainty associate professor Lydia Miljan is alluding to, is nothing compared to the radical departure from the democratic process and simple common sense we have experienced in Canada during the last decade.

Nothing can be more ‘fracturing’ than government leaders who arbitrarily pursue major projects, like $40-billion LNG plants, hydroelectric dams, oil by rail instead of pipelines, and 999-year leases on Crown lands, without any meaningful consultation with the people, let alone the other parties who were elected to participate in the delivery of law, order and good government.

Born and raised in a country that has had a proportional electoral system for decades was an opportunity to see the stability of governments that are committed to consensus-based decision-making and how that provides the foundation for that political and socio-economic stability our current first-past-the-post system is denying us.

Yes, single issue parties will appear on the political landscape from time to time, but the fact of the matter is that they disappear just as quickly for the simple reason, a single issue is never enough to sustain any party for any length of time.

And the parties that reach out to them to solicit their support for those sensitive issues are usually punished severely at the polls during subsequent elections, which also serves as a reminder to the other parties not to stray too far away from the political centerline to get that illusive vote.

There will in all likelihood be only about four political parties in BC, and they will develop over a number of years in response to the whim of the electorate.

With minority and coalition governments a single party will no longer be able to ram any radical decision or action through the legislature without consultation and support of members from the other parties.

The radical and un-democratic performance by our past and present government leaders are well presented and articulated via our media daily, and cannot be disputed by anybody, no matter what their political and academic credentials may be.

Andy Thomsen, Peachland

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