The Unforgivable Sin
Having just returned to Premier John Horgan’s “hip” or not hip brouhaha of electoral referendum, from a wonderful month at the Wallace Stegner Writer’s retreat in Eastend, Saskatchewan, I am once again troubled by the barrage of pro or no Proportional Representation (PR) propaganda.
During the recent televised debate Premier Horgan advised us that we should vote for his PR experiment based on how “hip” we are or not. (It sounded a little like a dealer trying to persuade someone to try the latest addictive substance.) Others say simply change is good. Obviously all change is not good.
According to various letters to the editor we should vote for PR because 22, 80 and now 90, (I’ve lost track of the number) tinpot democracies have used some form of PR to elect their leaders. On the other hand scare tactics about whether or not five per cent of the population of the province would vote for an extreme form of government thereby giving extremism a seat in our legislative assembly are being debated. Ridiculous as this may sound one might recall what percentage of the population supports North Korea’s fascist regime or supported Mao’s Red Guard. At least 100% according to these leaders! These are all superficial arguments.
What is really at stake is not percentages of representation but how under this new regime our elected leaders will conduct themselves and the business of the province?
Will we live happily-ever-after once PR has produced ever-expanding assemblies of agreeable, consensus minded, proportionally represented MLAs who will find utopian pathways through the current nightmare of discord?
Or will this new form of assembly dissolve into an even more power hungry debacle where unsavoury deals and the sell-out of ethics, (such as is the case in the Site C disaster underway on the Peace River) where both Greens and BCNDP caved into the same old mega development exploitation that has scourged the hinterlands of British Columbia for the last 100 years in order to promulgate and fund personal agendas?
B.C. is not ready for Proportional Representation; it gives too much power to elected officials!
– Peter Christensen is among many things an accomplished writer, poet and songwriter who calls Radium Hot Springs home much of the time.