BY JEFFERY WARREN REYNOLDS
In reference to the voting system in Prince Edward Island. First, we have to rectify grave errors by the Green Party of Prince Edward Island and those advocating a different system for elections. Using the term “first past the post” is ludicrous.
An election is not a horse race. There is no post. And there is no one first past this illusory post.
If we want to use horse activity terms, let’s use getting the most votes. In a horse show in Hollywood’s award system, the one that gets the most votes is declared the winner.
In an honest election, the person that gets the most votes, and rightly so, is declared the winner.
It is not required that she/he gets more than 50 per cent of the vote. If we had a two-party system as the U.S. and Canada originally had, one candidate is bound to get more than half the votes. But as the number of interest groups (parties) multiplied, it became less likely that any one candidate would get 50 per cent of the votes.
This brings us to why the fringe parties want proportional representation. They know they will never form government. But with PR, they can often control a legislature by forming a coalition. Then, if things don’t go their way, they threaten to walk out and that often forces unprincipled larger parties to succumb to their demands. So, we have the tail wagging the dog.
Under a PR system, we would be making that situation permanent, which is just what the Green Party of Prince Edward Island want for the Island. They talk of co-operation. Let’s deal in a little reality for a change. The left wing parties co-operate with other left wing parties and right wing parties co-operate with other right wing parties. There is no co-operation across left wing and right wing lines and there never will be.
Stating the first past the post system is bad because government is formed with less than 50 per cent of the vote is simply silly. Divide 100 by three or more and what do you get? Simple math is going to tell you that is what will happen when you have more than two parties running in an election.
I’ve heard the first past the post system called a tyranny of the majority and it may well be, but why would we swap that for a tyranny of the minority?
This upcoming referendum with the next election is not really about PR versus first past the post, but about that under PR we will have a permanent socialist province whereas with first past the post a free enterprise party at least stands a chance of forming government.
Under first past the post, what you witnessed in Ontario was the phenomenon of "throw the bums out" which they did, but under PR you can kiss that goodbye because you will never be able to throw the socialists out of office. Is it possible? Yes, but it’s not probable.
The one thing those that believe in a socialist government don't tell you, despite all the supposedly wonderful things they have, is the fact they have among the highest taxes in the world. If you are prepared to pay double or triple the taxes that you now pay, by all means vote for PR.
- Jeffery Warren Reynolds is a resident of the Rural Municipality of Linkletter