Proportional Representation Coming to BC

According to where the polls are at right now, there is substantial support for BC’s shift to proportional representation in the provincial legislature. Should these numbers hold, I suspect that there will be a cascade effect through the provinces – that’s one of the reasons why the ardent PR opponents at the Toronto Star insisted that referendums on democratic reform never be held in Ontario again. After mixed-member PR failed in Ontario in 2007, I referred to them as “sore winners” and said:

“Those against electoral reform might feel vindicated in their victory, but I think deep down they know that some sort of proportional representation will come up for a vote in jurisdictions again and again – and once it passes in one place in Canada the floodgates will open. The supporters of first-past-the-post know this, so instead of saying “bring it on, we’ll beat you again,” they try desperately to make the idea go away for ever.”

I suspect that the anti-PR fear-mongers at the Toronto Star are going to be publishing a flurry of furious condemnations of PR. As it becomes increasingly clear that Canada is on the cusp of doing away with an antiquated system of elections, I also imagine that these condemnations will become increasingly shrill.

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4 responses to “Proportional Representation Coming to BC

  1. I do wish the STV folks in BC good luck. I’m sure some slimey politico will find a reason to NOT implement it even if it passes, similar to the supermajority it required to pass last time.

    Not that I am a big fan of STV or even PR, but compared to FPTP its fantastic.

    Of course, from a market anarchist perspective, that’s like saying a broken leg is better than a broken spine.

    Good luck anyway

    Mike

  2. What I think PR may do (if I’m going to be idealistic here) is engage people in politics in way that they might not otherwise be engaged. In most ridings there are only two competitors with reasonable chances for electoral success. I imagine that this is a disincentive for many people to investigate political choices outside of the mainstream. If PR gets people engaged in deciding what choices they really want instead of which choices just suck the least, then that *could* create exposure for anarchist ideas among others.

  3. “I suspect that the anti-PR fear-mongers at the Toronto Star are going to be publishing a flurry of furious condemnations of PR.”

    I look forward to it. The TorStar has come under a lot of fire for its pro-FPTP stance. If they attack PR again this time, expect them to be swarmed with complaints. The hypocrisy of the paper is mind-boggling, to mouth concerns about poverty, homelessness, inequality, etc., while at the same time supporter a hugely unfair, elitism electoral system.

  4. As do I, during the Ontario referendum it gave me a near-daily source of blogging material.

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