Will British Columbia be the Leader?

By Hilary Crowley
December 4, 2018 - 9:53am
Receding glacier Tweedsmuir Park
Receding glacier Tweedsmuir Park Photo Credit: Hilary Crowley

BC has this wonderful opportunity to lead Canada into the 21st century. Once BC has adopted Proportional Representation; Quebec, New Brunswick and PEI will follow suit and hopefully Canada too. The Proportional Representation campaign in BC is drawing to a close. In another week, we should know if the scare tactics and negative advertising worked for the No side so that we are stuck with the status quo and nothing will have changed. Or if citizens saw through this negativity and the Yes side prevailed and an All Party Committee will now convene to determine how the chosen system of proportional representation will be implemented. The Boundary Commission will tour the Province and determine the boundaries for the 2021 Provincial Election. These will depend on which type of Proportional Representation was chosen by the electorate on the ranked ballot.

It may be a bit of a learning curve for us all to become accustomed to the new way of voting. However, we have two years to educate ourselves and embrace the new system. All of the other Democracies in the World, who have adopted Proportional Representation, have embraced it and turned down referendums to revert back to First Past the Post.

If Proportional Representation doesn’t prevail and we find ourselves stuck with the out-dated First Past the Post system it will be a sad day for our Province. It will mean that Trump style fear-mongering and scare tactics prevailed and that Democracy is set back another decade.

One of the main reasons that Trudeau and his Liberals found themselves in power in Canada is through their promise to bring in Electoral Reform and Proportional Representation. It is disgusting that election promises can be so easily broken. The Federal Liberals must pay for their broken promises, not only Proportional Representation but also their promises to address climate change. Buying an old pipeline so that Tar-Sands bitumen can continue to be pumped and exported off-shore is the worst example of broken promises. This is a complete abrogation of Canada’s promise to reduce fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions in order to preserve the viability of our planet for future generations.

Many scientists are suggesting that the best way an individual can play their part to address climate change is to vote. This is so important and vital to Democracy. As I think we all know, glaciers are receding at an alarming rate and the Arctic and Antarctic ice-caps are melting. This causes the oceans to rise, which increases flooding. Arctic ice and glaciers reflect sunlight but the darker meltwater absorbs sunlight increasing the warming effect. The Arctic permafrost is melting causing emission of methane gas, which increases the greenhouse gas emissions. All of these factors increase the speed of climate change. We have not even begun to address these issues yet. All we do is sign on to Accords and Conventions then buy pipelines, increase fracking and drilling, all of which ensures that we cannot reach our climate goals.

The only way we can address climate change is to plan further than the four-year cycle of a Government mandate. This involves political parties working together to act on scientific research and advice. This may mean adoption of needed policies, which could be unpopular in the short-term. However if people realize that in order to avoid increases in wildfires, increased flooding, droughts and migration of climate refugees, they will surely accept needed policies for the sake of their children and grandchildren.

If you have not already voted in the referendum, please do so now. The new deadline for ballots to be received by Elections BC is 4.30pm December 7th. As already stated, the best way an individual can address the issues of climate change is to vote. This includes voting on BC’s referendum on electoral reform. We need a system of Proportional Representation in order that elected MLAs will work together to do what is best for our Province and our World and not just for whatever they think will get their Party re-elected.

We will still vote for a local MLA, just as we do now. We will also have a 2nd vote for a Regional MLA, from the north region, to ensure that the result is proportional to the popular vote, unlike the current system. The Ridings will be a little larger to ensure that any increase in the number of MLAs will not exceed the possibility of eight new members.

If you have not yet mailed your ballot, please complete it now then drop it off at Service BC in Prince George at 1044 5th Ave, during work hours, to ensure that it reaches Elections BC by 4.30pm on Friday, December 7 .th. 

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