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.
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
Best of luck with your important task.
[Entered online from a scanned document]