Proportion representation will be good for B.C.

Fringe parties are not new

Proportion representation will be good for B.C.

One of the objections to proportional representation by FPTP (first past the post) side is that we will see many fringe parties running candidates in elections. We then will see unstable governments when these fringe parties manage to get seats in the government.

Fringe parties are not new — they are not new parties that will spring up overnight if we have proportional representation. We have them now. Fourteen other parties ran in the 2017 B.C. election and their vote totaled 2.55 per cent. In PR it could be possible for one of those to increase their vote to 10 per cent — and if so doesn’t that tell us something? There might be voters who only vote for a main party because their vote would not count otherwise. They then vote, if they vote at all, to the least objectionable party.

There were 10 other registered parties who did not nominate a candidate in 2017. As of today there are 28 registered parties in B.C. who could run candidates in any system.

In a FPTP system the number of candidates a party elects often is determined by demographics and often just where the boundaries are drawn. Redistributing constituencies because of changing population, even a kilometre can change which party is elected. It is theoretically possible for a party to win every seat with less than 40 per cent of the vote with FPTP — that has almost happened and we do get majority governments with that 40 per cent, which operate as if they do have 100 per cent — the omnibus bills for example.

We are a quite different country from Germany, France and Austria. I think we need a more representative government and I think we are smart enough to have it.

Trudy Thorgeirson


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