Sunday, May 10, 2009

First-Past-The-Post is like a bad waiter who brings food you didn't order...

British Columbians go to the polls on Tuesday to elect both a new government (using our archaic, vote-distorting Winner-Take-All/First-Past-The-Post system) and to vote in a crucial referendum on electoral reform.

A recent poll shows the NDP trailing the Liberals by 2 per cent (42% to 44% respectively). Under a sane voting system, that would translate into a narrow Liberal minority government. But under our crazy, existing system, that could very well translate into a NDP majority government, like it did in 1996 when a three-point gap in the vote handed the second-place party all the power for five more years!

B.C. Liberals should remember how they felt the morning after the 1996 election, when they had been shut out of power by our voting system despite winning the vote. That scenario could repeat itself on Tuesday and the only way to ensure it never happens again after this election is to vote for BC-STV. Enough of our crazy, vote-distorting First-Past-The-Post system! The time to fix it is now and hopefully as many Liberal voters in B.C. as possible will agree.

To those who are fighting to keep our archaic system because it lines their pockets and hands their parties all the power with only a minority of votes, I say 'Shame on You!' You're the same types of people who would've opposed extending the franchise to Aboriginals, to women, to non-land owners, etc. in the past because such a change would've undermined your hold on power. And today, you're still up to your nasty little tricks. I hope voters ignore your distortions and vote for change.

To those voters still making up your minds, let me repeat this scenario I wrote a couple weeks ago:

Can you imagine if you placed an order at a drive thru for two hamburgers, two fries and two bottles of water - and instead when you got to the window, they handed you four fish pies and some asparagus? Or if you sat down at a restaurant and ordered some sushi and green tea, and instead they brought you a piece of pork loin, potatoes and coffee and forced you to pay for it? Would you be annoyed? Of course you would.

Yet this is how our current voting system works. The voters head to the polls and vote one way - and the First-Past-The-Post system spits out something they didn't ask for. If BC-STV passes, this will never happen again at the provincial level in British Columbia.

If you like getting what you didn't order, vote to keep our archaic, vote-distorting system. If you actually want to get what you ask for in elections, vote for the Single Transferable Vote.