Thoughts on Electing Legislative Representatives
As one who lives in a riding with an elected independent MLA, I would like to remind British Columbians of just what a vote does. We are voting for a person to represent us in our legislature. The legislature then creates a government from among its elected members and holds that government responsible to itself. We are not a republic and very rightly do not directly elect a government separately from the legislature. Vote the person; do not vote the party. Vote the person and you get a member representing you and your riding into the legislature; vote the party and you get a member representing that party back back to you and your riding from the legislature. A certain fashionable desire currently exists for proportional representation; sadly this desire is based on vote for the party thinking. Proportional representation will just perpetuate party structures (and place into the legislature people who have not necessarily received votes for them as a person) while a single transferrable ballot (multiple member not needed) will diminish parties, as it did the last time British Columbia used it. The real reform needed is to undo Dick McBride's big mistake when he introduced party politics into B. C. a century ago. Reduce the role of parties and eliminate party discipline and we can initiate policy right in the legislature, where it belongs, rather than on the convention floors and back rooms of political parties, have real debate focussed on actual issues rather party positions, and strengthen the independence of legislative committees.