Attorney General David Eby announces public consultation on next year’s voting system referendum, including a website questionnaire that critics say is slanted in favour of proportional representation, B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2017. (Black Press)

Attorney General David Eby announces public consultation on next year’s voting system referendum, including a website questionnaire that critics say is slanted in favour of proportional representation, B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2017. (Black Press)

Letter: Tell it often and people will believe

Doing away with corporate and union donations makes for more level playing field.

Editor, The News:

Re: One political coalition is plotting to kill another.

I don’t know what party Tom Fletcher supports, but he’s certainly quoting from the B.C. Liberal playbook. He’s reiterating the fear mongering and slanted comments used by the B.C. Liberals in trying to scuttle the campaign for electoral reform.

He and the B.C. Liberals seem to be using the ‘Big Lie’ tactic used by propagandists the world over. Tell it often enough and loudly enough and people will believe it.

Mr. Fletcher engages in fear mongering: “Communists could win a seat in the B.C. legislature, perhaps joined by one of those hard-right anti-immigration parties that are flourishing in Europe.”

Yes, and it could snow in Victoria in July. Fact is fringe parties in B.C. get a very small percentage of the popular vote, not enough to win a seat.

It’s easy to prevent every tiny party from winning a seat.

Use a threshold, a certain percentage of the popular vote being required to get a seat through proportional representation, or require a party to win a seat through the normal process before being eligible for a proportional seat.

Fear mongering again – raising the spectre of rural areas dominated by those awful urban areas, where most of the population is concentrated that the referendum be decided by a simple majority of those who actually vote, regardless of region or turnout.

Isn’t this how government works. Sit in any session of the legislature and you’ll see that a simple majority rules. You’ll see that when the Christy Clark’s Liberals were in power, their predominantly rural power base wagged the urban dog.

Public financing of political parties? Except for India and Switzerland, all the established democracies engage in some form of public subsidy.

In an age where money wins elections, doing away with corporate and union donations and replacing those with public subsidies makes for a more level playing field.

Daryl Sturdy

Vancouver

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