The deadline has been extended by a week to get our ballots into Elections BC, but they still recommend that we mail them as soon as possible or, better still, that we drop them off at Service BC Centre at 1044 Fifth Avenue in Prince George.
It is so important that we all have our say to strengthen our democracy. Whichever side of the referendum you are on, it is important that your opinion is registered. Some have commented that they can't decide which of the three choices of proportional representation to vote on. If that is the case, there is a good five-minute quiz at www.referendumguide.ca. If you're still not sure, you can just vote on the first question to state whether you want to stay with the status quo or whether you would like to join the majority of successful western democracies and vote for PR. In my opinion, all three choices of PR are a great improvement of our current system of first past the post.
I was delighted to read a refreshingly unbiased article in The Citizen on Nov. 21 by Gordon Hoekstra. He is an award-winning reporter who used to be with The Citizen but is now with The Vancouver Sun. The Sun has been publishing very biased misinformation in their paper. I should like to congratulate The Prince George Citizen for their fair representation. Granted some of the columnists have been very biased with their rants but The Citizen has allowed a fair balance of views. Hoekstra's information was totally instructive and helpful.
Today on CBC, I heard a discussion on climate change. One of the panelists stated that the best thing an individual can do, to do their bit to combat climate change, is to vote. This comment wasn't relative to the referendum but was relevant to general elections. I found this a most astute comment. Climate change is the most important issue of our time but it never rises as an important election issue due to our current dysfunctional electoral system. There is so much corporate power influencing our political parties. If we want to get away from this control and instead influence the policies which we believe will ensure a liveable planet for our grandchildren and their offspring, we need to endorse PR. In this way we can elect MLAs who demonstrate that they will actually lead our province and country towards a sustainable future.
Don't delay. Mark your ballot and drop it off at Service BC if you can. If that's not possible, mail it now in order to ensure that it is received by Elections BC before 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7. We cannot complain if we don't exercise our right to vote. Vote for democracy to ensure that we have no more majority governments elected by the minority, which leaves the majority of the electorate without a voice.
PR will deliver this much more democratic system.