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Submission MCNEILL-1543 (Online)

Submission By Britta McNeill
AddressWinfield, BC,
CategoryElectoral system change
The true sign of a democracy is the right to vote, yet here, so many votes become null and void. How many votes have no say and are thrown away with the present system?. To make all votes count through PR is the first priority. [2 pages]

Submission Content
Congratulations on the big project you are working on, It was most interesting to hear all the views at the Forum at the Capri on Thursday last. This is something I have been rooting for years, my first letter to the Financial Post on the subject was in Oct. 1993.

It was a Banner Day, the day Premier Campbell announced the forming of the Assembly. We wish you the very best of luck in finding a good solution.

The first point in this letter is: the true sign of a democracy is the right to vote, yet here, so many votes become null and void. How many votes have no say and are thrown away with the present system? No wonder people don’t bother to vote. To make all votes count is priority no. 1.

The examples of countries who have adopted a system of Proportional Representation [PR] mentioned at the Forum were all countries who have adopted the system very recently. There seemed to be some doubt as to how happy they are with the change, yet all but one of the presenters were very positive about it.

Maybe a study of countries who have had this system for a long time would give a deeper insight. I come from Finland and that country has had a pp-system since they became an independent country in 1918. 1 believe Sweden and Norway have similar systems. The three Scandinavian countries compare very well to BC, geographically and culturally. They are smaller than BC, but big for Europe, they have a small, well educated population with the majority in the southern part and progressively more scarce the further north you go. Sweden has the biggest population of about 10 million, Finland comes second with 5 million, Norway last with about 4 million. Finland and Sweden have had stable governments with up to five parties ever since the beginning. Norway’s only deviation came during the German occupation during the war. These countries would be good models because they are so similar to BC in thinking climate and culture as well as natural assets.

During the discussion there was mention of a new system that would be of benefit to women and minorities. With any multiparty system, there is enough choice for anybody to find a match to their needs or they can get involved and mould a party to the way that suits them.. We have the Federal system now,  that gives guaranteed seats to several provinces particularly to Prince Edward Island and Quebec. At last count, 18 seats are guaranteed beyond the normal allocation. No special preference should be given to anybody, everybody’s vote should have the same value.

Best of luck with your important task.

[Entered online from a scanned document]

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