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LETTER: VOTING FOR THE FUTURE, NOT THE PAST

Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor.
Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor. - SaltWire Network

EDITOR:

The Liberal Government of P.E.I. has managed to turn what should be a rather straight forward referendum into a circus. First of all, they threw out the results of the plebiscite that chose MMP (mixed member proportional representation). Now they’ve stacked the deck against the Yes side by requiring 17 or more of the 27 districts to vote Yes to pass. To those on the No side who put out the piece of foolishness I received in my mailbox, I wonder how it could’ve been approved to receive taxpayer dollars. MMP is dangerous? Seems it works quite well in New Zealand. Only a few days after 50 people were murdered, the government, along with the opposition, were able to ban automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Government for the people rather than for special interest groups. To those who decry the fact that there will be larger districts under MMP, P.E.I. has very small districts compared to elsewhere and will have about 8,000 people under MMP. Compare this to Ontario with over 130,000 in some districts or B.C. with 57,500 on average. Having such small districts makes it difficult to find good candidates to run for office. Not many people can take an unpaid leave of absence to run in an election – especially women who earn much less on average than men. Under MMP, parties will be able to choose people who have much to offer and voters can choose who they would like to add to the parties if their vote totals and seat totals don’t match. I would welcome having nine list candidates represent me as well as the one that will be chosen by FPTP (first-past-the-post). I haven’t seen any sign of my MLA other than when the House is sitting. Being able to call upon any of the nine candidates feels like a real bonus. And to those who think MMP will lead to minority governments, we’ll likely see that happen anyway from now on with more than the two traditional parties sharing power. Wouldn’t you prefer a system that encourages cooperation rather than confrontation?

Jeanne Maki,

Charlottetown

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