Unabashed hypocrisy from BC Liberals on notion of electoral reform referendum

To listen to some BC Liberal leadership candidates talk, you'd think that the NDP is about to end democracy as we know it. They are arguing that to have a referendum on electoral reform *is* to rig elections.

The NDP and Greens have made their feelings well known; that a form of proportional representation better serves voters than our current, polarising and gerrymandered 'first-past-the-post' system.

While the referendum question hasn't yet been determined, the proposed change hasn't been decided either. But to change from the system that serves two parties instead of serving voters is some kind of abomination.

But I think we saw the crux of their argument in the Vancouver city by-election. Where the NPA won a seat with 27% of the dismal turnout. The other 73% were split amongst a menu of moderate and progressive/left parties; but because the BC Liberal linked NPA got there first, they got the seat.

BC Liberals don't play well with others. In the above by-election, their civic farm team being the only one of the centre-right only got 27%..not a good performance for a big tent party.

Which presents another problem of the BC Liberals. If this referendum happens and we change our system to a proportional one, the very pillars that hold up the party's big tent could collapse. The factions will realise that they don't need mama party to protect them when as their own stand-alone organisation, all they need is 2 seats to gain official party status. A place that increases their bargaining strength in any coalition/power-sharing talks that would inevitably follow an election.

In a sense, the NDP would also be foolish to follow through with this, as they have a big tent party of their own that could shift and split as well. But the NDP in its many years on the opposition benches have learned some sobering lessons there as well.

The lesson? That political parties are not entitled to anyone's vote. They are earned. By moving forward to trust voters to decide the fate of BC's electoral system, the NDP prove they're mature enough to govern.

BC is ready for this change, voters are mature enough to decide for themselves.


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