Proportional Representation: Better Democracy or Trojan Horse?

Doug Ford was elected Ontario’s new Premier with 40.6% of the province’s popular vote:  59% of the voters wanted someone else … and yet, Ford took ALL the power at the TOP.

And his Conservative party, under the first-past-the-post system, also captured 76 seats in the Ontario legislature, compared to the NDP with 40, the Liberals with 7 and the Greens with 1 … again, out of line with popular vote percentages.

Sounds like a perfect argument for proportional representation.

But it could have been even worse.

Imagine a political setup where someone gets only 16.8% of the vote but can hold a gun to the head of a Premier who garnered more than 40% of the popular vote!

That’s what we now have in BC.

Green leader Andrew Weaver’s party took only 332,387 votes … out of the total of more than 1.9 million votes cast in the last BC election.

And yet, it is Weaver who can decide IF and WHEN John Horgan’s propped up NDP government will fall: the Greens’ three seats being used after the ballots were counted to prop up the NDP’s 41 … keeping the Liberals’ 43 at bay.

Of course, let’s keep it real: the NDP is fairly confident the Greens do not WANT an election right now … probably because they know the government is not unpopular; the public doesn’t WANT an election; and the Greens can’t afford one …financially or politically. So Horgan and the NDP have been able to withstand (overlook) Green objections on several issues: Site C, LNG, bridge/road tolling, etc.

Nevertheless, the FACT remains: the Greens can topple BC’s government at the time of their choosing …  a very powerful position for a party that won only 16.8% of the vote … and that 83% of the electorate did NOT choose.

And that’s a problem proportional representation would make even worse!

There was a time I believed proportional representation was long overdue: after all, every vote should count and every point of view supported by voters should have a voice in debating/deciding political issues.

But wherever p.r. has been introduced, the number of small, parochial, religious or ethnic parties has multiplied … and it can become almost impossible to form government without catering to, pandering and giving blackmail powers to sometimes several of them.  It becomes a mess.

And yet, BC voters will soon be asked if they want to change to a p.r. system: in fact they will be offered THREE different types of p.r. systems.

BC could soon end up with not only minority parties like the Greens or Conservatives, but all kinds of small, fractured and fractious political, religious, ethnic entities,  holding seats …  and BC’s political REALITY would end up much differently: with small parties ending up with BLACKMAIL powers.

Just like we see now in Italy, Israel … and BC.

First past the post (the system we have now) is not perfect … but it provides much better stability and even some powers (ask the Greens) for minority parties … without the dangers and turmoil of proportional representation.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: You can receive free first alerts of all new postings on this B.C. blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam … just alerts of new blog topics.)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to Proportional Representation: Better Democracy or Trojan Horse?

  1. Gene The Bean says:

    Harvey, nothing is perfect.

    You say the current system gives us ‘stability’ – I must disagree. I feel the current system does exactly the opposite.

    It embraces and supports the out of control level of dysfunction that exists politically. FPTP encourages and supports the bagmen and grifters, the lobbyists and the corporatists. It brings massive amounts of money into politics with the resulting “you owe me” problems. 85% of first world countries use something other than FPTP. Wonder why….?

    Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result ….. ummm, we all know what that means.

    Being afraid to try to be better is not a good reason to try not to be better. It is an excuse. If it doesn’t work, change it back.

    The 1%ers and selfish conservatives will fight this with everything they have. Why? Because it is fair and just. Everyone gets to have a say and everyone’s voice is heard. Conservatives don’t like that, they don’t want to share, they don’t want their perceived influence, power or heritage to be threatened.

    I don’t care if some wacko fringe groups form up and try to become involved. Getting religion, Nazi’s and white supremacists out of the conservative movement would be a good thing.

    The system is broken. Lets try and fix it. Unless you are supportive of being continually manipulated or a masochist, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to try and make our system better.

    Change is hard. Doing nothing (but complaining) is easy.

    When the BC Lieberal Party came out as a firm NO, that sealed my YES vote.

  2. Ross Doherty says:

    Funny you mention the Nazi’s Gene it was PR that allowed them to take power in Germany under FPTP he never would have become Chancelor

  3. Harry lawson says:

    Harvey ,

    The core issue is our democracy, how we define it and how we administer it. The great thing about our democracy it is not perfect ,however it functions.

    No democracy is perfect , democracy is painful and at times unfair.

    Will PR be more democratic ? Maybe

    Right now we only have the BC Greens that may benefit from PR, however how about like Europe where some countries that have PR have given legitimacy and a parliamentary platform to fringe hate groups. One has to ask is that a democracy that I would want to live in ?


  4. D. M. Johnston says:

    The First Past the Post voting system is an anachronism for the Colonial era, nothing more.

    With multiple politcal parties, FPTP favours the wealthiest (which probably means the most corrupt) politcal parties.

    We must change, or the average voter will just give up in despair.

    In Canada, we have democracy for about 12 hours, every 4 years, which has lead to wholesale corruption of out politcal process. To be blunt, elections mean F*** all today, as politicians of all politcal parties have ceased to fear the electorate and do what they damn well please.

    To be blunt, there is little difference between Horgan’s NDP and the BC Liberals, both parties are autocratic and remain deaf to the the electorate and corruption bubbles everywhere.

    We must have some sort of proportional representation or all democracy will be lost.

    @ Ross Doherty, I do not think proportional representation had anything to do to the German November 1932 election.,_November_1932

    @ Harry Lawson – I would rather have fringe hate groups elected, and let all to see how dreadful they are, rather having them in shadows, spewing their hateful venom.

  5. Thresher says:

    Have to disagree with you, Harvey. The FPTP system has for most of my life set us up with a 4 year dictatorship, federally and provincially.

    Your argument that the Greens, with ONLY 16% of the vote can topple the government is a red herring. If the BCLiberals were currently in power the same situation could occur if 3 backbenchers decided they could no longer stand the putrid stench of Christy Clark’s corruption (not biased at all, am I).

    The way to look at the current coalition is that 1.1 million voters elected 44 MLAs who are the government instead of the 43 BCLiberal MLAs who received 796,000 votes. IF you stop looking at the parties and look at the votes PR looks better all the time.

    It is absolutely likely that several fringe parties will spring up, many exist already. Will they get enough votes to get 1 or 2 MLAs elected? Maybe, but if they do, shouldn’t the people who support them have the right to have their opinions represented?

    While I do worry about extremist groups, but I have faith that they do not have enough support that would be needed to get elected. Besides, I believe that an election like 2001 where 21% of voters ended up with 2 MLAs and 12% of voters ended up with no MLA is more likely a scenario (look at Ontario) and we get another dictatorship .

    (Response; You are right in describing majority governments as dictatorships. I have written many times on here how much I kind of like minority governments, which moderates the party in power. But that’s quite different from p.r. …where we could end up with several minor parties holding a seat or two each and then pulling MUCH more power than their numbers would justify, but enough to prop up … and then hold blackmail power …over a weak government. h.o.)

  6. 13 says:

    Not in favor of the Eby designed question. Talk about catering to the green party. The referendum is being administered in as sleazy a manner as one would expect from the NDP.
    Hopefully Bill Tielman champion of democracy manages to rally the right wing conservatives all across this great province and defeat Andrew Weavers payoff for propping up the losing party in the last election.

  7. AndyO says:


    I try to look at PropRep like this. Most people’s opinions on it are based on a BCLib, NDP, Green and smaller party split, but people are overlooking that the BCLib party are a coalition party of the centre-right. PropRep would open up that party to a possibility it might implode into Conservative, Liberal, a little Socred. It might be hard for a leader to keep the right together or easier for other leaders to split it apart.

  8. Gene The Bean says:

    Ross #2 – I don’t really agree with your recollection of history but I am much more worried about the Nazi’s of 2018 than I am about the Nazi’s of the 1930’s.

  9. BMCQ says:

    A Fair, Balanced, Insightful, and Educational Analysis on the Question of PR Harvey.

    I must admit I do have a serious concern with Far Left or Far Right Fringe Parties.

    Hell, I have a problem with what Horgan, Meggs, Gunton, are doing today with the Green Rump of a Party Wagging the Tail of the Dog too much of the time. Imagine what it would be like if we had a Party made up nothing but Rump Parties like any given EU Nation.

    A Disaster in the making.

    Then of course there is the question or questions put together by Anarchist David Eby.

    Just how fair will his Question/Questions be?

    Eby has long ago proven that he is a Wolf in Sheeps Clothing. And not that good a suit.

    Or as one might say, the Emperor has No Clothes.

    Attorney General?
    How much can we as Citizens trust Eby to write the Question on PR?

    It is not often I agree with NDP Icon Bill Tieleman but I believe he is a person of good character and I believe he holds B.C. close to his Heart. He wants the Best for B.C. even though most of the time he is somewhat misguided.

    Here is an interesting and informative piece from Mr. Tieleman.

    I do not see any way how PR would have any benefit for the Hard Working Tax Paying People and Province of B.C. no matter which Political Party they may support.

    I suppose if one was a Supporter of the old Doug Henning Flying Yogit Party one might support PR. as it could possibly give you a Seat.

    Go ahead, Fill your Boots.

    Ross – 6

    Thanks for Posting.

  10. david hadaway says:

    Regarding Ross Doherty’s comment about the Nazis.

    In June 1932 they took 37% of the vote. With PR that was not enough for them to take power, but under FPTP, as the electoral map of Germany shows, it would have given them an absolute majority in the Reichstag.

    In other words FPTP would have brought them to power earlier than was actually the case! On the other hand PR (with a threshold for representation that was lacking in the Weimar Republic) would quite likely have held them at bay until the continuing drop in popular support seen at the November 1932 election reduced them back to well deserved marginality.

    The analogy of that tragic period to present day BC is, however, entirely false, and just another example of Godwin’s Law.

  11. kelsey says:

    STV and MMP are both so obviously better systems over first-past-the-post, that you can measure an index of how politically corrupt someone is by how much they fight it.

  12. al27 says:

    the current government in victoria now is sort of giving us a taste of P.R…. the 3 mla seem to have quite a bit of power …..imho keep first past the post.

    (Response: I think it’s the experience we’ve had with the Greens that made me change my mind …and put me off p.r. Can you imagine if there were two or three small parties.. local, regional, religious, ethnic … that could spring up in various parts of the province and barter to prop up power … if the price is right. h.o)

  13. Art Smith says:

    Harvey, at least with FPTP, which does have flaws, when the SHTF we know exactly who is responsible and can get rid of them in the next election.
    PR is open to way too many back room deals and the average voter has no real knowledge who is pulling the strings and all parties blame the other guys for any problems.
    Personally, I think PR is like the sports day for school children where everyone gets a participation medal, because, they just weren’t good enough to win, but they tried really, really hard.

  14. BMCQ says:

    Kelsey 13

    I happily admit that I am a simple Man.

    Would you please clarify your statement, I need some clarity.

    just how do we tell a Politician is corrupt if they do not support PR?

    PM Justin campaigned on and then rejected PR. Would you consider him corrupt?

  15. Daryl Sturdy says:

    The Nazis of 2018 is a European situation. We don’t have the same culture or history. Your fear is unfounded and is promoted by those who would find any excuse no matter how flimsy, to defeat the move to democratic electoral system.

  16. kelsey says:

    BMCQ 16: If you examine first-past-the-post simply by the amount of voting method criteria it satisfies as a social choice mechanism, FPTP’s performance is abysmal compared to other approaches like ranked ballots.

    The merit and accuracy of social choice mechanisms can be quantified, and normative statements about their relative quality can be made. So while it’s true that no “perfect” social choice mechanism can be constructed thanks to Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem… there simply is no question that better systems than FPTP out there exist for expressing democratic preference, and that these systems are superior to FPTP. STV is a good example. (Condorcet is the best, but not practical in within the context of local government elections.)

    All these inane debates about minority, coalition and majority governments… distract us from the obvious truth that first-past-the-post is just plainly a bad system for quantifying social decisions.

    It’s not like this is a secret either. No mainstream political party anywhere in Canada uses FPTP internally for their own elections, because they know its dog shit. If only they could be so honest to the electorate.

  17. e.a.f. says:

    omg, BMCQ a “simple man”, nice try and good luck with that, time to eat dinner get back to my thoughts later, still laughing. OMG………

  18. Thanks for this important article Harvey! For those interested, you can find more information on our No BC Proportional Representation Society website –

    (Response: Thanks, Bill. As I mentioned, I used to think having EVERYONE’s vote count would be wonderful, actually changed my position on this after watching the NDP/Greens experience in BC. It’s actually not as bad as some things we see elsewhere … but I have no doubt with p.r. a whole slew of smaller parties/groups will spring up … many of them racially and ethnically based and garnering enough CONCENTRATED votes/power to impact our election system negatively FOREVER. P.R sounds great…but it is a Trojan Horse: BEWARE! h.o)

  19. Jay Jones says:

    Show me a perfect person and I’ll show you a perfect system. People are imperfect and so no person run system will ever be perfect. That’s just a reality that everyone has to accept and live with.

    The political system is fine as is. It contributed to the creation of a world-class city, a world-class province and a great country. What more could be asked for!?

    The problem is the personnel and their execution. Because of the amazingly high success level Canada and the world reached a few decades ago, politicians and political parties have become to region what kids are to household.

    So the system that needs major upgrading is the country’s education system. BC’s NDP gets the importance of bringing BC’s education system into the 21st century, and because they do I see them and BC doing very well for a very long time.

  20. BMCQ says:

    kelsey – 18

    I appreciate your point of view and the basic reasoning around your opinion.

    I am also quite sure that FPTP is not perfect but the cumbersome gridlock created by those mentioned, delays, the difficulties to pass/conclude meaningful legislation, and the huge cost of government under systems such as STV, PR, or similar Systems such we see in too many EU Nations and others is something that is best avoided in my opinion.

    I must admit that I also have concerns about Minority Governments in spite of good points made by Harvey.

    I simply do not like either Far Left or Far Right Parties potentially being in a “Tail Wagging the Dog” Position in a Country that I live in call my own.

    I do not understand why someone that Fights the Systems you endorse would be corrupt.

    IMHO the Corruption you speak of Is a “Nothing Burger” Compared to AG Ebys past Anarchist Activities and his Manipulation of the Questions on the PR in his attempt to Dupe the “Great Unwashed”.

    We are all entitled to our own opinions but we are not all entitled to our own set of facts.

    Finally, and these very important considerations seem to get no attention.

    The Vote should NOT be done through the Post, the Vote should should be done on the Provincial Municipal Election Day in November. That Vote would be easier controlled, it would produce a greater turnout, and it would be more transparent.

    Then of course there is the possibility that a low number of Say only 30% could send in Votes. Then take into consideration that the PR wins the day by 51%, that would mean that we have changed our whole System of Electing MLA’s with approximately 15% of the Provinces eligible Voters. YIKES !

    Then to top it all off Well known Mensa Member and Premier John Horgan tells the Local Yokels that the Vote that Carries the Day On this History Altering Decision will Pass by 50% Plus One !!

    He then Adds “ What could be more Democratic than That”?


    As NonCon might say, “You can’t make this stuff up” !

  21. Kelsey says:

    BMCQ: To answer your specific, question: just how do we tell a Politician is corrupt if they do not support PR?

    Trudeau as you provided is a great example. He talked a great game until self-interest made it inconvenient. I’m a partisan Liberal and it still disgusts me.

    In fact, may or may not be a dealbreaker in the next election as it was a very serious breach of trust.

    Under PR without strategic voting if you pulled that kind of sh!t as a politician you’d feel the banhammer of the electorate a lot quicker.

  22. Chuckstraight says:

    I`ll take some form of proportional over FPTP. Some improvements to our society, in my view, were made with minority gov`t in the past when the NDP held the balance of power.
    Majorities should be over 50%.

  23. Diverdarren says:

    Harvey, proportional voting methods are nothing new, we’ve been debating the merits and drawbacks verses Plurality for 2 centuries. Both produce representative democracy, but it’s the source of the authority that differs.

    PR seeks its authority from the collective as a whole. It looks at governance as a voice of the largest group of electorates. In this case the whole of British Columbia.

    Plurality seeks it authority from the smallest reasonable group of the electorate, the people of a electoral riding. Plurality creates the balance of individualism and collectivism.

    A pure democracy would be every citizen having a say in every decision, I think most would agree that’s not reasonable. The next best option is that people in like situations and location become the smallest group (the riding).

    This creates accountability of government back as close as practicable to the individual.

    This individual accountability is what we loose in a PR system.

    As a group of people sharing location and situations (the riding) we come together and the candidate to represent us is the candidate that gets the most votes. Even if the winner doesn’t receive a majority, the winner must still remain accountable to the electors because if he looses the confidence of the people he represents they can band together and vote the bugger out.

    Similarly, even if the winner commands a majority the electors as a whole have control of their representative thru the power of recall.

    The PR/Plurality debate really comes down to your belief of where power comes from. PR comes from the collective (a “leftist” position)

    Or, power comes from the individual’s consent to be governed. Which is a more libertarian mind.

    (Response: Really good point on loss of individual accountability. I KNOW my MLA and realize I would get a better response there (esp the closer an election becomes) rather than dealing with some MLA from an “assigned” party list who may not even be able to find my home/street on a map. h.o.)

  24. Hawgwash says:

    I fear the results of any referendum on this will be less than satisfying or representative.

    Folks here seem to have some basic understanding of the concept, but this gang is at least somewhat awake politically.

    I say probably 90% of the voters won’t take the time to be educated, even if the wording is in very lay terms, which it isn’t at the moment.

    I also say, because of the above, “voter turnout” will be much smaller than any regular election.

    15% maybe.

    Ok, ok ,20% then.

  25. Gene The Bean says:

    I was interested in learning more about Tieleman’s position but as soon as I saw Susanne Anton was involved there was no point.

    Obviously just a lets all ‘keep on the gravy train’ argument.


  26. 13 says:

    @hawgwash. Your quite correct. Most people would look at you and as you explained that the NDP are trying to change the way they have elected governments since they were born their eyes would either close as they fell asleep or perhaps glaze over as they went into a trance.
    THESE PEOPLE are not evil,stupid, or any number of names that some apply at will. They are just normal people that dont eat sleep and breath politics.
    Thats why the corrupt conniving, scheming, and dishonest EBY has designed this referendum.
    NO threshold of support needed.
    NO clear majority needed.
    NO promise of one simple question kept
    So an easy math situation. BC has a pop of 10 people. Only 3 vote (30% is not out of the realm of reason)
    2 vote for pr and 1 votes for fptp.
    We get the chaos that EBY has in his evil plan.
    NO plus NO plus NO equals a very democratic result.
    This is NOT the opinion of a 1% er . I have no affiliation with any past or present NAZI organizations. I am a conservative, and if that makes me selfish so be it. As this country seems divided about 50 50 between liberals. and conservatives I am not alone.

  27. DBW says:

    I have to disagree with those who have some kind of fear of minor parties gaining control in a pro rep system.

    We already have that. How many times, Harvey, have you railed against the federal Greens because of what you perceive as an anti-Semitic sub group?

    How many times have people complained that the NDP too often cater to their radical environmentalist sub group?

    The Conservative Party of Canada is not the Conservative Party of Diefenbaker, Stanfield, Clark and Mulroney (whatever you may think of those four) because they are as much the Reform Party as anything with some pretty far right members.

    The BC Liberals have cobbled together a coalition of Liberals, Conservatives, and Socreds to the detriment, I would contend, of all three parties.

    And what if a some strange, evil group somehow managed to reach a threshold of the 5% needed to get any seats. What would be the consequences for any main stream party if they chose to use them to win parliamentary support, let alone introduce any loonie legislation that this minor party wanted.

    There are numerous reasons for making the change from FPTP to some kind of pro rep system. Unfounded fears are not enough to change my mind.

  28. e. a. f. says:

    o.k. dinner was a long time ago. as much as I believe in PR, my gut says first past the polls. don’t know where it comes from but I don’t like what tiny parties do sometimes, i.e. Israel.

    Now it maybe that some of the fears are unfounded and what we see in other countries may not happen here but then again, why take chances. Then of course there is the case where a political party may have a fair amount of the votes all around the country, but never quite make it over the hump and elect some one.

    when I look over Canadian history though, small parties who no one thought would go anywhere, well today we have the NDP and Greens and both are growing. so for me, I think I’ll vote stay the course with first past the post.

  29. e.a.f. says:

    13 at #7, actually, in my opinion the Eby designed question is one of the best questions I’ve seen to date on the issue.

    A number of posters have referred to the 4 year dictatorship, when a majority government is elected. That is what a majority of people want so that is what they get. That is what FPTP is all about. What has been lost over time is the ability for politicians to look at other points of view. Part of a democracy is,majority rules, but not at the expensive of the minority or to the detriment of the minority. That is what is missing, civility, taking the other person’s perspective from time to time. Perhaps its because of the amount of money involved in politics and what donors want in return, who knows. In my opinion, its the excesses/extremes majority governments go to. There seems to be little consultation with the other parties.

    Also what maybe missing in the FPTP system is the electorate once the election is over. People seem to think they’ve done their democratic duty by voting Then they go back to sleep for 4 years. The odd ones write letters to the editor, post on blogs, but how many actually get organized and go after their MLA if they don’t like what is happening. I know life is busy and commuting and life gets in the way, but at some point people have to be responsible for the actions of those they elected. if they do unacceptable things, the voters who put them into office need to look into themselves and ask, did I really vote for this person to do that? If not, get on the case of the politician, big time. You can make a difference. People have forgotten how to do that. Voting once every 4 years is not enough.

    Perhaps it is time for provincial politicians to have to hold town hall meetings at least twice a year and answer in public for their actions/voting. The odd one make actually think twice about how they vote. We vote these people into office and neither they nor us ever seen each other again, in most cases.

    We know the MSM isn’t going to do the work, so perhaps it is time for people to remember what makes a democracy and if their MLA isn’t doing the job they were elected to do, make sure the MLA knows and that is dogging them by committee every where they go until they answer the questions you have asked. is it a lot of work? You bet. Did it back in the early 80s. is it nice? Not so much. Is it necessary? Some times you bet it is. don’t make life easy for a politician you elected if you don’t like what they did.

    time to think about dinner.

  30. BMCQ says:

    For anyone to suggest that they could not consider supporting FPTP because Susan Anton is involved with yhe Tieleman “NobcproRep” Group gives me the same feeling I had in my gut I had when I was in Thailand a few years ago where I was so sick I wished for and called a visit from “The Banshee”!

    How any thinking individual could put that statement on record here is beyond reason and in fact creepy, irresponsible, and juvenile.

    Frankly I am gratified that Tieleman or whoever started the movement was able to gather a Group of obvious Non-Partisan B.C. patriots that are willing to work for ALL British Coulumbians, it says a lot about their dedication to work with people of all backgrounds regardinless of Socio Economic Status, Political Leanings, or Party Affiliation.

    That alone says a lot to me.

    I take my Hat off to Tieleman, Anton and the rest of their Group.

    I have much more confidence in them than I do in the at best very devious DAVID Eby and his obvious plan to Hood Wink the ‘Great Unwashed“.

    Two things I will add to the discussion, one of which I always push when I get a chance and something else to consider.

    It is long pst time to consider Two Four Term Term Limits for ALL Politicians at Municipal, Provincial, and Federal Levels. To ensure Good Candidates and Competent Individuals seek Office at the Federal Level we need to increase their Salary by 50% and let them Fund their own Pensions and Retirement Benefit Package, That way when they Term Out we are rid of them and the Tax Payer is not forever responsible for an old worn out Politician forever “Dipping their Snout in the Tax Payers Trough”.

    Two Term Limits actually force Politicians of any Brand to get to work and hand down Meaningful Legislation that reflects what their Constituents desire than first and always and always just manipulating Tax Payers so they get re-Elected for decades.

    We do not need the Heddy Frey’s, Joe Clark’s, and the rest that hung around far far too long past their “Best Before Date”.

    We also need to find a better and easier way to “Recall Politicians”. Canadian Voters need an easier less cumbersome way to recall those Politicians that do not do or cease to represent what we expect and in fact demand of them.

    The British Parliamentary lends itself to abuse by employing the “Whip System” and it needs to stop now. Canadians deserve better.

    By Legislating Term Limits and more effective “Recall” Legislation we would offer Canadians solutions that would work for all regardless of Political Affiliations and “We the People” would have Accountability>

    Seeing as we are all still here. I said two ideas but you get a Bonus of one more. Much like Premier Horgan promised Two New Taxes he has given the Good People of B.C. MANY More.

    Canadians have some of the Highest Housing Costs, Rents, and Mortgages in the Western World, we see increase after increase in our Cost of Living, we bend over backwards to House Drug Addled Criminal Felons and do very Little for Seniors.

    It is long past time for Canadians to demand that PM Justin and his Minions immediately Pass Legislation to Sbolish the Senate.

    Canadian Tax Payers cannot afford to continue to support the Upper House” year In and year Out.

    As it now stands Canadians put out over $100 Million Dollars each and every year to maintain the Senate and over ten years that is close to $ 100 Million.

    Truthfully I am quite sure it costs much more than that.

    Canada is a Great Nation and we deserve better and the People of B.C. Do Not Deserve to be Saddled with the DAVID Eby PR System.

    Canadians and The People of B.C. Need Fewer Politicians and Smaller Government, we would not benefit fromPR, we need Term Limits and we need a “Triple A” Senate, “Anolish, Abolish, Abolish”.

    Good Luck to the Dynamic Duo of Bill Tieleman and Susan Anton!

  31. Hawgwash says:

    Gene; I used to read and like Mr. Tieleman, until I learned he was attending the Gordon Wilson School of Loyalty.

  32. 13 says:

    @eaf. Anyone that feels that this referendum as tabled by Eby is an honest and fair way to conduct an experiment on our democracy is kidding them selves. Horgan said one simple question. Its 2 questions and the second one is dishonest and meant to confuse the issue. Horgan has become quite an accomplished liar.
    Speculation tax? School tax?
    Uber by Christmas 2017
    Uber by fall of 2018
    Uber? when we figure a way to protect the taxi industry from competition. Ah comrade Horgan
    your true colors are starting to show.

  33. 13 says:

    Hawg your tossing Bill Tieleman under the Beans bus is very funny. I guess it doesnt take much to get an NDPer to turn on another NDPer.
    Loyalty among comrades?

    (Response: No more postings about Tieleman and his personal politics …please. Can we keep to the topic of p.r.! h.o.)

  34. Gene The Bean says:

    Hawg #34

    I talked to a few folks yesterday that fell off the Tieleman wagon a long time ago. I wont repeat all of what was said however his ‘playing the middle’ to personally benefit himself from both sides is well known. He was routinely harpooned at The Tyee for having the needs of his wallet put before everything else. Too bad.

    Almost all of the soulless right and many within the progressive movement will fight proportional representation as their personal gravy train would be at risk. As I have said here many times, Horgan needed to clean house at NDPHQ, way too many, some second generation, professional hangers-on and ‘political operatives’ that are far too comfortable and have lost the edge needed to do what is necessary.

    The more I read about it and the more I learn about it the more important PR becomes. It is almost a motherhood issue. “Do you want a fairer election system that represents the wishes of the majority” …. or do you want to continue with the nonsensical system and dysfunction we have now?

    Being ‘afraid’ of what ‘might’ happen if we ‘change’ something is ridiculous to me. I understand the grifters, the ‘lifers’ and ‘self righteous right’ will rally against their money’s influence on our elections being put in jeopardy – but for regular folks – this decision is a no brainer.

  35. 13 says:

    Harvey, with all due respect. First of all I like Bill Teileman. Even though he is an NDP supporter I believe he is a decent honest person that I have come to respect and follow for many years. The fact that he is the FRONT man for the NO side is going to be difficult to overlook between now and Oct 22 when the voting closes.
    I wish Bill EXTREME success in this campaign. He is fighting an unfair fight against a government that has pulled every trick in the book to ensure the yes side wins.
    His political affiliation is important only because it shows the voting public that the NDP does NOT have unqualified support for this attack on democracy

  36. BMCQ says:

    So let me get this straight.

    Just because Long Time NDP Party Loyalist Bill Tieleman stands up with a Non-Partisan Group for the FPTP Elections Process he is now Greedy, a Grifter, Turncoat, Eater of Young Children, Souless, and even worse a Conservative Sympathizer.

    Horror of Horrors!!

    (Edited…off topic. h.o)

    I sincerely wish that Tieleman and Anton and their Group are able to “Win the Day” but if they do not I will live with the result.

    I have no respect for Eby but it is not because of his politics it is because of his Deeply Flawed Character.

    If PR is such a Wonderful and Just Way of holding Elections we should ask ourselves why Eby and the NDP Brain Trust are bending over backwards to Manipulate the Results?

    Even the Most Loyal Eby Disciple must question the Eby Effort to go out of his way to manipulate the TWO Questions. Come On!

    (Edited…off topic. h.o)

    Any Comments?

  37. D. M. Johnston says:

    Democracy is all about power, who has it and how it is used.

    Those who have power do not like to share power and first past the post is all about not sharing power.

    The fear is of course, the mainstream parties losing power to lesser politcal parties. It is all about those who do not want to share their toys and those who have the most toys at the end of the day win.

    Power makes politcal friends and insiders very wealthy, as we have seen with Gordon Campbell, Christy Clark, and Vision Vancouver.

    The province is suffering now, with dictatorial rule but in the near future, the taxpayer will feel doubly with Campbell’s, Clark’s, and Vision Vancouver’s lack of vision and wholesale selling themselves and province to the highest bidder.

    Now, those on the right side of the politcal spectrum, upchuck at the thought of the NDP having power and the likes of Tielman wait in vain until the NDP gain power.

    Power = Money.

    With proportionate representation, power is watered down and friends and politcal insiders do not grow so wealthy off the taxpayer’s dime.

    This school tax on houses worth more than $3 million has come about, in part, because of Campbell’s massive tax cuts for the wealthy and downloading those lost taxes on the poor in the guise of user fees, tools and add-ons.

    The unabated rise in house values has come from unchecked money laundering at BC casinos, using real estate to further launder and hide illegal monies.

    The colonial style two party, first past the post system is obsolete and the fear of those not wanting change is the fear of those of losing power and losing income made from those in power.

    If we do not change and change soon, democracy will only become a dictionary term, soon to censored by those in power and wishing to remain in power.

  38. e.a.f. says:

    13, #35, perhaps in your opinion, I’m kidding myself or shall we use the more accurate term, delusional. I like the term better, has a nicer ring to it as opposed to suggesting I’m playing a joke on myself. I believe what I believe as do you. I’m not suggesting you’re delusional, so lets just agree to disagree. I’m o.k. if you think I’m delusional. Has worked well for me over the years. Being delusional can work. You believe it and work hard to achieve the “delusion”. Sometimes it even works. If you’re just “joking” with yourself, its just laughs and nothing much happens.

    As to Horgan and lying and the “list”. all politicians make promises. When they get into office, a lot of their promises are not kept. Its reality. Those promises not being kept frequently have a lot of reasons. campaigning and governing are two different things and the later is more difficult. You may yearn for the previous government. I do not. I’m just fine with Horgan/NDP. We’re getting more schools and hospitals. The rest is gravy.

    P.R. is a nice idea on paper. It works in some countries, to an extent, but its a tough slog. Do all people deserve representation? Of course they do, so what do we do to ensure that? Sometimes its not possible, given the laws of the land and what we accept as good behaviour. A party which is racist, could hold a whole government hostage. Now those racists have a right to be represented, some would say. Me, well I’m on the fence. They have a right to their opinions but not to preach hate. When they get to do that, we get Israel and the U.S.A.

    Our form of government does send things to committee but the ruling party always has the most seats. You know the results, more of that first past the post stuff. What we need is a tad more give and take by politicians and that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

    Tielman has taken a position and not all agree with him, but many don’t understand, Tielman is not a politicians in the sense that he makes his living as one. He is a P.R. guy/a spin doctor. Now that may cause him to be political, but people who make their living in this arena do change sides according to the topics at the time. They need to make a living. At one time that living may have been made via left wing politics, but that does not a living make. Sometimes one has to take on other campaigns to make that living or get yourself some good P.R. As the saying goes, I don’t care what you say about me, just spell my name right.

    Its not unlike a lawyer who takes on cases he personally isn’t in agreement with, but where would we be if they didn’t.

    We can only hope every one who is eligible to vote does. if the voters decide P.R. is the way to go, then we have a great experiment to live through and as I say, you either learn to live with it or die because of it. It may be my age, but I’m probably going FPTP. OMG I AM agreeing with some who I rarely agree with, so I’ll try to keep that to a min.

  39. Hawgwash says:

    For those in denial and those who don’t grasp the graft;

    That’s about as innocent as Chip Wilson backing an unknown mayoral candidate.

    Follow the money.

  40. 13 says:

    eaf, your attempt to rationalize Horgan lack of credibility is kind of odd as Ive spent years reading your diatribes re the Clark liberal governments ethics.
    Big lie /little lie. Time will tell how many more lies Horgan perpetrates on BC voters. What the heck we might yet see him with a pink hard hat standing at the new LNG plant that was a liberal lie. ( not really a lie just a slow developing plan).

  41. Eldon says:

    Canada has used FPP for its entire history. Here’s the thing: I like Canada! It’s working well. I like that our PMs have the ability to impose their will for 4 years. I like that the yin and yang of Tories and Grits wrestle back and forth. I like that we have rejected the populism plaguing other nations. Canada is not broken. No remedy is needed.

    (Response: P.R. would make it easier for smaller extremist populist parties to gain seats and influence …even powers in certain circumstances. Stay away from it! h.o)

  42. Kelsey says:

    BMCQ with all this talk of power to the people, you should love Rural-Urban PR.

    Under Rural-Urban PR, thanks to the urban nature of BC, easily over half of the legislature would get elected using STV.

    STV is a system that unquestionably takes power away from political parties in favour of independent thinking MLA’s. To win elections under it, you literally need to be competent enough to win first order rankings over other candidates in your own party.

    That means next time your local party apparatchik parachutes into a safe riding to become a career politician for life, you can reject that loser and elect the competent person from that same party running alongside them instead.

    Seriously, I wish people could just step back and fundamentally realize how different “PR” will work under STV versus MMP. The ones who get it under STV will be hyper competent politicians. That means strong independents, not just party hacks. Rural-Urban PR’s STV will give us the electoral darwinism our province needs. (The top-up MLA’s will be so small in number under it as to not matter at all.)

  43. Kelsey says:

    All of you forget the government has given a guarantee of a referendum within two years of using the system. If it creates the European dystopia you think it will create, you are free to repeal it when that time comes.

    But of course no jurisdiction in history has thrown out proportionality once getting it, so that’s why opponents claim the sky is falling.

    (Response: It’s impossible to throw out p.r. once you get it… because the many tiny parties that spring up within a decade … and their (usually) radical supporters have a stranglehold to prevent another referendum. Kind of like voting for Islamic party or Communist party …once they’re in …they don’t need any more choice elections., In fact, BEWARE British Columbians: we could even end up with similar “ethnic” parties/power here! h.o)

  44. DBW says:

    Seriously Harvey. You are tossing out the fear of radical Islam and Communists at the gate. (response 46)

    We already have over a dozen registered parties in BC. None of them get anywhere close to the 4-5% threshold needed to get seats under PR.

    Last year, over 97% voted for the three main parties. The next biggest group were independents (not a party) with 1%. The Conservatives and the Libertarians got about 0.5% each. That leaves less that 1% for whatever fringe parties are left. There is no threat of an Islamist party or the Communist party getting any kind of foothold.

    And what if they did. What if 5% of the population decided to vote for an outrageous, radical party? That does not mean that they get any support in the legislature. I am pretty sure the NDP, Liberals, and Greens would work together before committing political suicide by joining with a radical group to form government.

    The big parties are afraid of sharing power. Look at the history. 1996, the NDP form a majority government with less than 40% of the vote and worse, with fewer votes than the Liberals who received 42%. The Liberals were rightly outraged and promised electoral reform. Their support cooled after they won almost 100% of the seats with just over 50% of the votes in 2001.

    Trudeau promised electoral reform after Harper’s 40% majority then cancels once he gets in with 40%.

    For different reasons than BMCQ I don’t trust the NDP on this referendum because I am not all that convinced that they want it that much either. They promised legislation as per their governing agreement with the Greens but the roll out is pretty pathetic at this point. Almost like they want it to fail.

    And BMCQ if you distrust career politicians so much why are you lavishing praise of the likes of career politicos like Tieleman and Ashton when electoral reform has been promoted by citizen groups. Ordinary folks. You know. The great unwashed.

    I need another rest from posting.

    (Response; I was pointing out what HAS … not might … happened elsewhere where radical parties took hold: Egypt; Iran: Venezuela; Russia …. democratic voting ONCE and then never again. Of course, we’re nowhere near approaching that possibility here , even under p.r. … BUT I certainly COULD see the possibility of political parties springing up and appealing on religious or ethnic (Chinese, East Indian, First Nations, Islamic) basis and being able to gain enough votes province-wide to gain seats and affect public policy on a very parochial …even bigoted … basis. We MUST NOT go for a system that would open the door to that. h.o)

  45. Gene The Bean says:

    #42 – thanks for that link Hawg – pretty well explains what you, myself, Kelsey, D.M. and a few others have said …..

    If you want to continue to be manipulated by big money stay with FPTP. If you want competent politicians instead of grifters and conmen and want every vote to count, with the wishes of the majority counting for more than the wishes of the minority, vote for PR.

    Pretty simple.

    Tick tock.

    PS: How have some people become so afraid of any kind of change? Do you still wear your 1970’s clothes? This is Wednesday so it’s pot roast for dinner? Yearning for Ed Sullivan and Bonanza on a Sunday night? C’mon folks – this is 2018, rip that Hudsons Bay cardigan off, turn off A.M. radio and try to live in the present instead of the past. And NO, Tuesday is no longer $1.49 day! Geez….

    (Response: Nothing wrong with change … unless it makes things MUCH worse! Read my responses above: the possibilities are frightening …but VERY real. h.o.)

  46. BMCQ says:

    Kelsey – 45

    First of all.

    Even if you and I might not agree much as time goes on I welcome your participation on this Blog (Can I welcome someone to Harvey’s Blog)

    You have a refreshing point of view, you provide thought provoking commentary and unlike most here you are not necessarily “Bound by a Straight Jacket of Ideology”. At least not so far.

    Hell and as yet you have not even called Me Morally Bankrupt, Greedy, a Nazi, or even an Eater of Children, let alone accusing me of walking the Earth with Cloven Hooves.

    I read your Post carefully and with apologies I come back at you with a few questions.

    If PR or the rest were going to be of such benefit to the Tax Payer of B.C. why did OM Justin Break His Word on Pr?

    Why does Eby go to such an effort to confuse “The Great Unwashed” with his TWO Ambiguous Questions?

    Keep it Simple Stupid.

    A couple of other things here and for some reason I was deemed off topic last time.

    I do not know why because it should be considered at the same time as PR and it would give us better Government. Is that NOT what we strive for?

    We need Two Year Term Limits for Politicians at ALL Three Levels of Government.

    We need fresh ideas and we need Politicians to make decisions, we do not want them to continually worry about getting Re-Elected.

    We also need an easier “Right to Recall” Law Legislated ASAP.

    We need an easier way to hold Politicians responsible for their actions.

    We need Accountability.

    Kelsey – 46

    I suggest you read Harvey’s Response to you very carefully.

    I am concerned about a lot of things but I am very concerned about Ethnic Block Voting, Race (of any kind) Block Voting, Religion Block Voting and any Cultural Block Voting.

    We need Government that is Democratic and we need Government that is independent of ANY Special Interest Groups!

  47. BMCQ says:

    DBW – 47

    I honestly do not trust the PR Referendum simply because the NDP are in charge, I do not like the way Eby has Bastardized the Questions.

    Why Two Questions?

    Why not just ask the Question

    “Are you in favour of changing the way we Elect Provincial Politicians by Enacting Proportional Representation Legislation”?

    Again, WHY the Ambiguity and Manipulation of what could be One very simple question?

    I do not necessarily distrust the NDP as a Party, I distrust Eby, Meggs, Gunton, and many of the others that seem to make up the Biggest Part of Premier Horgans Brain.

    Only a guess on my part but I very much doubt that Premier Carole James would Manipulate and I would not see most others being quite as devious as the group that have formed the question.

    To me this is not an NDP thing, this is about democracy. Hell, I may be incorrect but that is the way I see it. Again I refer you to Harvey’s original Essay and his response to Kelsey – 46.

    I do not dislike ALL Career Politicians just a very high percentage of them and the easiest/simplest way of ensuring New Blood, Independent thinking, Fresh Ideas, Democracy, Accountability, and Politicians that actually Enact Legislation is Two Four Term Limits.

    Again, I do not necessarily dislike Career Politicians, but to accomplish the Two Term Limits they must all leave after that time.

    Th Tieleman Anti PR Group I support has nothing really to do with the reason I support them and it matters not how some may view them as Career Politicians.

    I believe in their cause and I believe that cause is “Just” for ALL Tax Paying Citizens of B.C. regardless of their Politician Affiliation.

    I did not at any time say that Life Long Politicians were always incorrect in their opinions or Legislation, I would guess that many of them depending on which Party one might support could be right 90% of the time, I just said and believe that Canadians need a regular “Flushing of the System” to ensure Renewal.

  48. BMCQ says:

    My Apologies, I misspoke in my Post – 50

    in my first paragraph I did not mean to say I did not trust the NDP in general or simply because they are NDP.

    To state that I would be no different than a handful on this Blog that Hate Conservatives just because they are Conservatives and that would be Juvenile.

    I do not like the Questions and in my opinion I believe Eby is proving that he is unworthy of holding Elected Office.

    I will judge the NDP on the Legislations they pass or do not pass as well as just how much they Flip Flop over their Four Year Term.

    The up to $ 3 Billion Dollar Deficit they have coming for the Tax Payers of B.C. next year will get a reaction from me and I hope 4 Million others in this Province.

  49. 13 says:

    Harvey, looks like youve got a limit of 50 commrnts.

    (Response: Fixed it! Apparently default setting for Comments was 50 …. changed it to 100. Clearly, with such blog action, I will soon be VERY rich. 🙂 h.o)

  50. 13 says:

    Thanks for the fix Harvey.
    @DBW 47

    Not often I agree with you but I think your right about the NDP not wanting PR. I think that Horgan and company would very much like to be a majority government . To that end I think that had Horgan manged to cause an early election he might have won a majority. Voters would be mad about another election but Horgan would pin the blame on Andy and wind up with a majority.
    That was then. Now its to late. Horgan has shown his true colors and the phrase tax and spend has never rang so true. The vote on PR is not going to enamor Horgan and the NDP to the voters. It will piss them off, confuse many, and down right alienate many more . Between all of the punitive taxes and this ill conceived referendum I think Horgan has sealed his fate.
    ONE AND DONE. tickity tockity.

  51. e.a.f. says:

    BMCQ, as I understand it you’re not in favour of PR. because the NDP is in charge. That is like saying I’m not in favour of P.R. because of the information in Hawgwash’s #42, read the article about who is involved and who is the big money behind it. given how close they are to the B.C. Liebeals, one should be suspicious. Its not like that little group ever cared about what is fair/ Its more like what can this system do for us to make more money. Lets not forget the years of money laundering. What has Mr. bowtie ever done for any in this province which didn’t benefit him?

    As to what fringe groups can do, well we just saw it happen in the by election in Quebec where Scheer won with the help of a lovely group of motorcycle racists. Just check out Montreal Simon’s post up today about that. So it would seem any system is open to being high jacked by unscrupulous people and unscrupulous politicians. Like who would lay down with RACISTS? Andrew Scheer did and he won. All on FPTP. Then we look at all those other countries who have come to power with PR. and that was the end of democracy as they knew it.

    I think they only way to keep a democracy a democracy is too keep big money out of it and that includes the support groups. When I look at support groups around major political parties I am reminded of the puppet clubs around the Hell’s Angels. It has about the same effect, in my opinion.

    People need to get out and vote. that is the only way we keep a democracy alive. Some times I think a fine for not voting would be the way to go because right now it really isn’t about who has the best ideas, its about who can get their vote out on election day and we saw with Trump how that turned out.

  52. BMCQ says:

    e.a.f. – 55

    Again, My Apologies.

    In my post at 51 I tried to bring clarity and apologize for my post to DBW – 50.

    No excuses, I mistakenly wrote what I did and did not notice until it was pointed out to later.
    It was a dumb mistake.

    I meant to tell DBW that it is NOT just because it is the NDP proposing the Questions.

    No I do not like Eby and those mentioned and believe Wby is attempting to Manipulate the Citizens with his Questions.

    You may also see in my post where I pointed out that I would be no better than some on this Blog that hate everything Conservative or B.C. Liberal and I in fact stated that I thought thinking like that was Kuvenile and perhaps even Morally Bankrupt.

    There are plenty of times I have given the NDP credit for any number of things and will do so again, I will just not be giving them credit for this feeble and very transparent attempt at trying to Hoodwink the Good People of B.C.


    I was also going to point out that I appreciated your Post – 41, it was very well reasoned, well thought out and a bit of a surprise.
    I respect your commentary Not just because you and I agree on FPTP but because you put your Province ahead of your Personal Politics and we should all respect that.

    Again, my apologies to DBW, to You, and the other one or two that read my posts on this Blog for the careless mistake.

    Words Do Matter.

  53. Crankypants says:

    The way I look at it is first past the post is not considered good enough for various political parties to choose their respective leaders then it is not good enough for the great unwashed to choose their representatives in government.

    Time for a change!

  54. DBW says:

    Let me try this one more time.

    1996 Liberals get 42% of the vote to the NDP’s 40% yet the NDP form a majority government. Chew on that.

    2001 The Liberals win 55% of the vote translating into over 90% of the seats leaving the opposition (an important part of our democracy) voiceless. Chew on that.

    Think how different things would have been under PR.

    The Liberals would have won in 1996 and for people like BMCQ and 13, we would not have had that “disastrous” second term of the NDP.

    Which probably means we would not have had those draconian measures of 2001 which so upset the likes of e.a.f.

    And with some kind of oversight by a third party we might not have had the corrupting influences that plagued the Liberals for their 16 years in office.

    Yes, I am painting of rosy picture, but I think my scenario is much more realistic than Harvey’s who at least walked back the threat of Islamists and Communists but still has the fear that we will become Iran, Argentina or Russia.

    FPTP is perfectly acceptable in a two party system. But we are long past a two party system. The Progressive Party of the 1920s was pretty much a single issue party (farmers) that held some sway federally and formed government in some provinces.

    Some of them drifted back to the Liberals but depending on politically leanings the rest joined the CCF or Social Credit.

    There is nothing wrong with third, fourth and fifth parties and most of them start with a single issue. CCF were labour oriented. The Greens, the environment. And as long as they can reach a threshold of say 5% why can’t they have a voice in parliament. And why can’t they have some influence if their concerns are legitimate. (Bigoted ideas which some of you think will be the result are not legitimate and no government will run the risk of losing support by the rest of the population to support something obscene.)

    How are the Greens holding a gun to the head of the NDP. Horgan can go to the Lieutenant Governor at any time and say that he cannot manage the legislature. It doesn’t have to be a non confidence vote. Harper did it.

    Under our correct system where we have five parties sitting in Parliament and three in the legislature we are not likely to be heading back to a two party system.

    PR is by far the better option.

  55. e.a.f. says:

    BMCQ, you’re forgiven, we all make mistakes. At least we can all agree it was very hot today.

    DBW, I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic but I have an idea you are. So yes, I’m still upset with el gordo that his actions resulted in the largest mass firing of women in Canadian history and I’m still not happy about the loss of B.C. Rail. I hold a grudge a very long time. (its genetic)

    Would R.P have helped in this situation, who knows but after reviewing some parts of your post, it is unfortunate that when a large percentage of the population remains unrepresented its not great. Don’t know if 5% is my cut off, perhaps around 10, but you have written something to think about.

  56. DBW says:

    After a good night’s sleep and further research.

    Harvey, you seem to have lost faith in minority governments because of the Green’s 16% propping up a government.

    Since Diefenbaker, our federal government has had 8 minority governments (11 majorities) none of them lasting more than a couple of years before ending in another expensive election which sometimes resulted in pretty much the same result.

    1963 and 1965
    2004 (Liberal), 2006 (Conservative), 2008 (Conservative)

    I doubt that minority governments are going to go away so why not force politicians to deal with it. We have become so polarized that governments are constantly looking ahead to the next election and how they can win it rather than working together for the people they are supposed to serve.

    And it is not like minorities/coalitions can’t work. Pearson with the support of the NDP (who had only 13% of the vote) managed to bring in our new flag and the beginning of our health care and pension plans.

    e.a.f in one post lamented the lack of voters. In the 1960s, 75% of our population voted. Now it just might be changing times that has dropped this number, but I would contend that a lot of people realize that their votes don’t matter especially in all the ridings where the winner is a foregone conclusion. Not voting is as much a protest vote as voting for a third party, more so when you know in advance that the third party has no chance of representing you.

    We have a wonderful opportunity here and mistrust of Eby or fear of change should not sway us from that opportunity.

    Some of you Tieleman supporters might find this interesting.

    (Response: I still LIKE minority governments …when there’s one or even two possible “third” parties that can come into play. The problem with unleashing p.r. is we will end up within a decade with a DOZEN smaller parties … like in Italy, Israel etc. … based here on not just left or right more strident views but also divided along our now fairly large religious and/or ethnic groups with enough support province wide to be allocated some seats … and we will then rue the day FOREVER going to that system. h.o. People MUST expect the unexpected …and stay with our current system …despite its lack of perfection. h.o))

  57. BMCQ says:

    I do not like “The Tail Wagging the Dog” we could experience by Minority Parties holding the Balance of power. There is evidence of problems arising from that scenario all over the world.

    Please Do Not Kid Yourself under the current circumstances in the case of the Greens in B.C. holing that Minority Position it is very obvious that the Ego on Two Legs Andrew Weaver and his two Minions would NEVER cause an Early Election because the Greens would be Decimated
    in the Polarization of that Early Election.

    Weaver continually tells the Voter he is the Smartest Guy in the Room so I have no doubt he recognizes that fact.

    One thing to ponder on this subject.

    I wonder How Many on this Blog that support PR were on the side of Premier Gordon Campbell when he proposed the STV?

    Or were you THEN on the side of that Morally Bankrupt (As some here would Label Him) Bill Tieleman who Campaigned against that proposed Legislation 10 or so years ago.

    Anyone care to comment on that question.

    Have You changed Your Mind?

  58. Hawgwash says:

    Those who want to maintain the status quo could make this campaign a repeat of the Transit plebiscite, where they become such fear mongers and spew so much self-serving nonsense, the few who do cast a ballot in favor of change, might do so regardless of their beliefs or knowledge.

    I hope so.

    The HST was a bad vote but we told ‘em, didn’t we.
    The transit vote was a good vote and we told ‘em there too, didn’t we

  59. Diverdarren says:

    Harvey, I see the enamoured views of minority governments in the community comments. Some see majority governments as dictatorship. Some believe that minority governments force consensus between parties and better legislation.

    Minority governments are not a foreign concept to our parliamentary tradition.

    But, it’s not minority government that is at issue over PR. It’s coalition governments.

    For the weeks after the last BC election the Liberals were a minority government. What formed between the NDP and Greens to take the reins of power is a coalition government.

    Under Plurality, coalition governments are relatively rare, but using PR we will see some interesting (ie. “Unholy”) alliances.

    PR allows for very fringe views to coalesce and have a voice. This will force major parties to align with fringe view parties in a desire to form government. We can see the strangle hold the Greens have over the NDP. The only thing that keeps the Greens on a leash is if the NDP topple the government before PR referendum, the Greens know they won’t get another shot.

    This is the problem with fringe parties in a PR system, they are secure from answering to the general public. It the people tire of the NDP or Liberals they’ll vote them out. With fringe parties, because they are built on identity politics their base will never tire of them. Be it religion, or race, or ethnicity that the fringe party represents their base will never tire of their fringe party because the base will always identify with that fringe view.

    Identity is all that is important to the fringe. Evangelical Christians, Shria Law Islam, white supremacists, antifa, native separatists, you name the fringe they’ll have a voice, and it will have power in a PR system.

  60. BMCQ says:

    DBW – 60

    Thanks for the Todd Van Sun Piece.

    I had read it before but re-read again.

    Read Todd most of the time, not always impressed but he does offer thoughtful commentary most of the time.

    I wonder if Todd was a supporter of former Premier Gordon Campbells SVT Proposal?

    Or was he with the Anti – STV Group/Tieleman on that one?

    I also do not quite know how to take the last two Paragraph’s of the Todd Piece.

    I believe Tieleman is sincere. I may disagree with him on his next campaign but I think the majority of the people of B.C. and Canada are being served well with FPTP.

    Before Aghast informs me my 15% is up on this Thread I would like to wonder out loud about something.

    Just which Country and or State/District that now has STV or PR works better than what we have in Canada and it’s Provinces.

    Just which one of those would any of us choose to move to and reside in over Canada and it’s FPTP System of Election?

    I truly wonder.

  61. DBW says:

    Like BMCQ, my 15% is probably up, but since he asked.

    In 2005, I supported STV. In 2009, I was one of the main spokespeople in our community. And interestingly, on one occasion I was stopped on the street by someone who chastised me for supporting it and while handing out pamphlets on STV at an all candidates forum I was verbally assaulted by another person. Both were strong NDP supporters that I had known for years.

    By the way, STV was not Gordon Campbell’s baby. He formed a citizens committee to look at electoral reform. They chose STV. I like the fact that electoral reform is an initiative of ordinary people like FairVoteBC.

    DiverDarren thank you for at least challenging my thought process. You have mentioned a concern about local representation (it will still exist) and the worry about the influence of fringe parties (which I believe won’t be the problem that you suggest.)

    I am not even sure how people define fringe parties? Are the Greens with 16% of the vote a fringe party. Were the Bloc whose only support was in Quebec a fringe party. Were Reformers who started in Alberta a fringe party. The latter two both became the opposition party at one point And the Reformers I would argue have taken over and ultimately changed the Conservative Party.

    If we set a bar of 5% for party status then it limits the number of fringe parties that can exist. In Germany for example there are seven parties in the Bundestag although one is so closely aligned to Merkel’s party that we can say six. Canada has five.

    For the first time a far right party reached the threshold and now has seats in the Bundestag. But they got 12% of the vote. It is scary to think that a party like that exists and can get 12% but 12% is a significant number. Merkel said prior to the election that she would not work with that party in any kind of coalition. And remember Merkel’s party is centre right so it is unlikely that any of the other parties will wok with it either. Despite representing 12% of the population that party is still marginalized.

    Regardless that is Germany. We don’t have to worry about that element. And I don’t think we have to worry about other fringe parties in BC. Muslims for example make up 1% of our population. The vast – vast -majority of them are not extremists demanding Sharia Law. First Nations make up 5% of the population. But they hold wide ranging political opinions. As do other ethnic groups. It’s not likely that any of them are going to band together to form some kind of threat to our democratic institutions. And if an extremist party like the Nazis happened to reach the threshold it is unlikely that any party will work with it.

    I am trying to imagine some kind of unholy alliance that could exist.

    Last. I get some of the reasons for people not wanting to change. I get some of what DiverDarren says. I respect Eldon’s view (@44)
    when he said that he liked the fact that parties could impose their will for four years and the back and forth of those situations. Even though I disagree, who am I to argue with that.

    What I don’t like is this pounding of the fear factor when the vast majority of democratic countries are using PR just fine. Building consensus is much better than the adversarial politics we see today. (Look at FPTP America.)

  62. BMCQ says:

    DBW – 65

    I am not at all surprised that you feel the same way about PR as STV, I believe you believe in doing the right thing because you believe it is the correct thing to do rather than what I suspect many others are doing.

    Not surprised you were Vilified, People from all sides let their emotions take control.

    I do not believe any one here is Fear Mongering, People are no different than you, they just have certain concerns and a different point of view.

    Just like I do when I differ with you on the result of the U.S. Election, the Brexit, and the soon to be demise of Angela Merkel, Elite Liberal EU Leadership and in fact the destruction of the EU itself.

    No different than the success of the Conservative Party in the Quebec Byelection, something I feel is very important and a sign of things to come in 2019.

    Only a guess on my part but if Gordon Campbell or Christy Clark were promoting PR instead of Eby, Horgan, Meggs, Gunton and others, 99% of the Activist Leftist Punters on this Blog in favour of their Ambiguous NDP Proposed Questions would be totally against it.

    Kind of sad don’t you think?

  63. Crankypants says:


    I voted for STV in both 2005 and 2009.

    I will vote for Proportional Representation in the upcoming vote.

    I will vote for dual member ridings only.

  64. Gene The Bean says:

    Fear, fear, fear……

    C0nservatism 101

    Stockholm syndrome ???

  65. BMCQ says:

    Cranky – 67

    I am going to guess you were not a Big Fan of Gordon Campbell so as with DBW I am very impressed BUT NOT Surprised that you had/have the courage of your Convictions.

    We do not agree on this matter and I do not see myself changing my mind anytime soon but I really value your point of view. And who knows, you, DBW, and some others may be correct.

    “Stockholm Syndrome” ?

    My Mother is from a nice town in Sweden fairly close to Stockholm.

    Very Sad and Forever Life Changing what is taking place all over Sweden.

    Sweden Elects Members by a a Modified System of the “Sainte – Lague” Electoral Process.

    It is somewhat overall reflective/similar of a PR System where the Percentage of the Vote attributed to any one Party is reflected in the Number of Seats for the most part.

    IMHO That System and any other PR/STV System will VERY SOON be the Undoing of ANY EU Country that Elects Officials that way.

    Harvey is 100% when he points out that PR Type Systems lend themselves to Radical Groups and People of ALL Types. That Includes Terrorist Sympathizers and it includes People Registered and Running as Candidates that believe their Religion or other Belief System Supersedes the Rule of Law in any given Country they have Migrated to.

    Stand Back and Watch!!

    EU Nations Will SOON be changed Forever thanks to PR or Similar Type Systems !!

    The Saddest thing of all is the Fact that many Leftist EU Parties and Politicians see an Alliance and Votes with Radical Muslim Groups.

    Tick Tock!!

    Just another Very Important reason WE in B.C. and elsewhere in Canada should NOT Vote in PR, STV, or anything similar.

    And Guess what?

    Once PR, STV, or Similar Systems Vote in Radical Parties there is NO Going Back or there is no “Do Overs” !!!

    I find it interesting that Not One Individual, including Harvey from the FPTP Side has introduced the Label of “FEAR” when describing or addressing those in favour of PR.

    As My Old Swedish Uncle, Jack Forsgren once told me “Be Careful what You ask for Boy, You might Just get it”!!

    Tick Tock !!

  66. e.a.f. says:

    read it all again. we need some new writers here folks. we’ve said all we need to, new participants wanted.

    I need a drink, no a toke, well in the future……..l.

  67. Hawgwash says:

    A good topic Harvey; up to about post 2o where it just became an echo chamber. Serious thought needed all adound.

    Now can we have some fun in this world of craziness? How about a blog on bras in the workplace. Would be really, REALLY interesting to see who, in this crowd, goes where with that one.

  68. Harry lawson says:


    A issue I have with this process is the vote itself , I feel that by having a mail in ballot shortly before the civic elections most will end up in the bin.

    The timing and method of this vote could be seen as a manipulation of our democracy.

    Why not hold the vote with the next provincial election, thus having better participation . If PR wins implement the results within 6 months.

    (Response: I agree. Mail in balloting with proper security controls can work in a general election, because more people care and participate. BUT an isolated referendum question in the mail would tend to draw more responses from those who are motivated and really want change … and a lot of ho hum from those who don’t follow political issues etc much between elections. And that raises another question: Is it justifiable to change the ENTIRE electoral system with a turnout of UNDER 50% of the eligible voters? Better and fairer to do it at the same time as a general election. h.o.)

  69. 13 says:

    Harry lawson @72 and ho response.
    An uncomplicated analysis and response. Makes perfect sense. BUT it begs the question as to why the referendum and questions and format are all so obviously flawed. Makes you wonder how corrupt the designer and author must be.
    The entire process should have been conducted by a non partisan citizens group.
    Eby/Horgan/Weaver all 3 should be ashamed of this sham/scam bit of treachery

  70. BMCQ says:

    Harry – 72

    I agree 100%, Eby is attempting to influence the result of the PR Questions by using any tool within his power.

    That includes the Mail In Ballot as I suggested in
    Post – 22

    And what you just stated,

    I believe I stated that PR could pass or fail with under 15% of the Eligible Voters of B.C..

    That My Friends is David Eby Democracy!

    Great Post, it is always nice to hear from anyone of any Political Brand that sees the Whole Big Picture.

  71. Jay Jones says:

    Hiring a boy-scout and a girl-guide isn’t going to help the other kids make better household decisions for the family.

    It’s clearly the education system that is in need of a major upgrade. One only need look at voter turnout these years for proof of that fact.

  72. Hawgwash says:

    Well, some might say this is irrelevant here, but I say it suits probably 80% of Harveys poliposts.
    Rather than steal the link, I’ll just send ou all over to Norm’s place instead;
    Gene, I think you will approve.

Comments are closed.