BC NDP and BC Greens: Form a Stable Government and Implement PR!

BC NDP and BC Greens: Form a Stable Government and Implement PR!

Call on the BC NDP and BC Greens to form a stable government and implement proportional representation in time for the next BC election! Please sign and send this open letter from Fair Vote Canada and Fair Voting BC to John Horgan and Andrew Weaver now, then share with your friends!

Open Letter to John Horgan and Andrew Weaver:

A Call for Collaboration to Deliver on Proportional Representation

May 15, 2017

Dear John Horgan and Andrew Weaver,

On May 9, 57% of BC voters cast ballots for the NDP and the Green Party. A core promise of both parties was ...

Call on the BC NDP and BC Greens to form a stable government and implement proportional representation in time for the next BC election! Please sign and send this open letter from Fair Vote Canada and Fair Voting BC to John Horgan and Andrew Weaver now, then share with your friends!

Open Letter to John Horgan and Andrew Weaver:

A Call for Collaboration to Deliver on Proportional Representation

May 15, 2017

Dear John Horgan and Andrew Weaver,

On May 9, 57% of BC voters cast ballots for the NDP and the Green Party. A core promise of both parties was to bring in a proportional voting system.

The importance of electoral reform cannot be overestimated, because no electoral system that disempowers a large part of the population can be truly democratic. Yet electoral reform is difficult to achieve in normal circumstances because of the vested interests at play. Assuming the current seat count does not change, the results of the May 9 election provide BC the opportunity to lead where others have failed.

This is a rare and historic opportunity. Seizing this opportunity will require that you work together under a stable coalition or government accord lasting however long it takes to put a new electoral system into place. We call on you to join forces and commit to deliver PR for the next provincial election.  

Working together across party lines comes with its challenges to be sure, but there are different ways to do it. For example, in New Zealand which uses proportional representation, many stable governments work for full terms under negotiated “confidence and supply agreements,” while others are stable coalitions. Either way, the country is not saddled with one party holding unbridled power.

British Columbians are looking to you to work together—to earn our trust where others have broken it, and to show that a new kind of governance is possible. We are calling on you to move ahead quickly with an expedited process to deliver electoral reform and to pass legislation, ideally, within 18 months of forming government before handing the process over to Elections BC for implementation.

There already exists a wealth of research and work on system design done by a multitude of studies, commissions, assemblies and committees in Canada, including our own BC Citizens’ Assembly, the recent federal all-party Committee on Electoral Reform (ERRE), and the Law Commission of Canada. We are not starting from scratch.

We need a consultation process involving experts, citizens and elected representatives to design a made-in-BC consensus-based model of proportional representation in time for the next provincial election. We would welcome sincere participation of the BC Liberals in this process, keeping in mind that they were the first party to initiate the movement towards proportional representation in British Columbia in 2003.

British Columbia voters support PR. An Insights West exit poll following the BC election found that 59% of respondents would be happy if the government implemented proportional representation. Among decided BC participants in a poll just released by Strategic Communications, 74% said they want proportional representation.

A stable co-operative government with a four-year term would give a new government led by the NDP and the Green Party time to consult the public on the design of a PR model and do whatever is needed to have the new voting system in place for the 2021 election.

Opinions differ on whether a referendum should be held prior to this change.  Many argue that the right to effective representation and equal treatment is required by our Charter and should not be subject to a referendum—both your parties have a tradition of standing up for civil rights and we encourage you to consider doing so here.  If you do decide on a referendum, we recommend that you either ask a simple question of principle (proportional representation vs. winner-take-all) early on in your term or else defer holding a referendum until after two elections using proportional voting. This would give voters a fair chance to “test drive” proportional representation for themselves before coming to a decision.  

Proportional representation is a matter of fairness and equality for all voters.  By ensuring that voters’ choices are respected and accurately translated into seats in the legislature, the bonds between voters and their preferred candidates and parties will be strengthened.

PR will bring us much closer to the ideal of making every vote count and will ensure that voters across the province are represented by MLAs who reflect a range of political perspectives in each region. This will reduce the regional divide, which widened in the recent election, and make all parties competitive across the province.

Comparative research shows that proportionately-elected governments and cooperative decision-making produce better, more stable policy outcomes and sustainable progress on major issues over the long term.

We ask you to show true leadership on this issue and establish a firm and fair foundation for all future elections in BC. Your constituents are counting on you!

Réal Lavergne, National President of Fair Vote Canada

Antony Hodgson, President, Fair Voting BC

Jason McLaren, President, Vancouver chapter of FVC

Richard Habgood, Co-Chair, Victoria chapter of FVC

Terry Dance-Bennink, Co-Chair, Victoria chapter of FVC

Ann Remnant, President, Kootenays chapter of FVC

Bet Cecil,Team Leader, Sunshine Coast FVC, Co-Chair, Alliance 4 Democracy

Bob MacKie, Team Leader, Saltspring chapter of FVC

Terry Robertson, Team Leader, Kelowna chapter of FVC

Barbara Berger, Team Leader, FVC North Island

Jordan Ellis, Team Leader, Nanaimo Chapter of FVC

Kelly Carmichael, Executive Director, FVC

Anita Nickerson, Action Coordinator, FVC

Wilf Day, National Secretary, FVC

Jennifer Ross, National Treasurer, FVC

David Merner, National Vice-President , FVC

Iain Macanulty, Past President, Vancouver chapter of FVC

Keith Poore, Vice President, Vancouver chapter of FVC

Janet Hudgins, Board member, Vancouver chapter of FVC

Mark Jeffers, Victoria chapter of FVC

 



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Tell John Horgan and Andrew Weaver to Form a Stable Government and Implement PR!

Send this open letter from Fair Vote Canada and Fair Voting BC to John Horgan and Andrew Weaver, calling on them to form a stable governing coalition or accord committed to delivering proportional representation in time for the next BC election. When you click "Send the Letter", your name will be added automatically. Then share widely with friends!

 

 

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