Letter to the Editor: Ranked ballots the way to go

The following is an open letter from Prince Rupert resident Blair Mirau to Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen

The following is an open letter from Prince Rupert resident Blair Mirau to Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen:

Hi Nathan,

I apologize for being unable to attend your recent electoral reform meeting in Prince Rupert, however, I wanted to provide you with my feedback on your work holding the Liberal Party accountable that 2015 was the last First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) election.

Although, I am a Prince Rupert city councillor, I am writing as a private citizen with no political party affiliations, hoping that I can positively add to the conversation on electoral reform.

Living in one of the largest and most diverse ridings in Canada, it’s extremely important to preserve and strengthen local representation in Skeena-Bulkley Valley. It’s also vital to have an electoral system that is easy to explain and simple to understand.

In 2005 and 2009, the B.C. single transferable vote referendums both failed because people weren’t convinced how a new and more complicated system was actually a benefit.

My perspective: offering Canadians a ranked ballot is the most effective, simplest and easiest alternative to achieve meaningful reform before the next election:

1) Ranked ballots strengthen local representation. Right now, 30 per cent of the vote can win a three-way race, but ranked ballots ensure MPs are the preferred choice of 50+1 per cent of their constituents.

2) Ranked ballots offer more choice. Instead of just one vote, we can add a second choice. We can add a third or fourth choice. Or we can stick with our number one option. More options are good.

3) Ranked ballots are simple and easy. The only change required would be turning check marks to numbers on the ballot. No redistribution of ridings or changing the number of MPs.

4) Ranked ballots reduce “strategic voting.” No more voting for someone just so someone else doesn’t win. We can in good conscience put our favoured choice as number one.

5) Ranked ballots improve political campaigns. Instead of appealing to the “fringe” or the “base,” or smothering the opposition in attack ads, a ranked ballot system encourages candidates and parties to be appealing as a preferred choice.

I understand the NDP favours proportional representation (PR) to match popular vote with the number of seats in Parliament. But ranked ballots achieve everything that the NDP supports about PR: it increases voter turnout, creates more diversity and gender balance, and doesn’t lead to instability.

No democracy is perfect, but we have a real opportunity for change after the Liberals promised that 2015 was the last election using FPTP.

I greatly appreciate your time and energy in this process, and I hope I’ve been able to provide you with a constructive contribution.

Blair Mirau

Prince Rupert

 

Just Posted

New museum exhibit in Prince Rupert to highlight nature’s influence on technology

Travelling exhibit made possible through federal funding via Museums Assistance Program

Rampage ready for new CIHL season

Puck drops Saturday at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre

STORY, PHOTOS & VIDEO: Brand new wrestling mats on display at Charles Hays

Team no longer has to grapple with hard surfacing and soreness thanks to generous donations

Immediate deal to reinstate AMHS in Prince Rupert not out of the question: Mayor Brain

B.C., Alaska officials fail to sign ferry deal in Juneau to reinstate service from Ketchikan

VIDEO: What does PRMS want? Climate action. When do they want it? Now.

Kids in Prince Rupert march to city hall in support of Fridays for Future, a global climate protest

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Most Read