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

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prince Rupert citizens concerned by influx of out of province visitors

Local politicians call on Minister of Oceans and Fisheries to limit licenses

Bunkowski’s busted out of the boredom during self isolation

After 14 days Prince Rupert family finally finds freedom

COVID-19 liability protection for essential workers

Provincial government taking steps to limit operators from being sued

Prince Rupert seniors are often not able to purchase groceries

Shopping hours, panic buying makes basic essentials extremely difficult for those at high risk

Kitimat LNG Canada worker tests positive for COVID-19

The company announced the positive case to its workers on March 28

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

‘Drive right through’: Haida Gwaii First Nation erects checkpoint for non-residents

Skidegate Band Council Emergency Operations Centre erected checkpoint on April 2

Most Read