Saturday, May 9, 2009

On the Cusp of Something Beautiful...

We are about to make history in BC. We will either go down as the people who dared to change the system, or else we will forever be known as the province that failed to bring about change when we had the chance.

I hope that BC - STV get the super majority that it needs in order to change the way that politicians are elected in BC. It may not be the system of electoral change that you would want (MMP, Irish STV, etc) - but I trust the 160 randomly selected citizens from all the ridings & aboriginal groups that put all the time and effort into coming up through consensus BC - STV in 2004.

As some of you know my husband Colin (HWSNBN) was a part of the Citizen's Assembly that came to the agreement on STV. I still marvel at the fact that he was randomly selected and I was not. He really didn't have any passion for politics and barely stifled a yawn when I would natter on about social justice, aboriginal affairs and global economies. But he went to the Assembly faithfully and travelled around with them during their time together. He grew to respect others opinions and recognised that BC needed a change.

I remember that he would be gone for one weekend a month and went to Prince George on the travelling road show. HWSNBN is an intelligent guy. He is methodical and pays attention to detail. I know that he put effort into this process and BC - STV came about after a lot of debate and argument.

The fact that the 160 members of the Citizens Assembly voted 95% in favour of STV speak volumes to me. I work in a system that has professionals who can barely agree on anything - let alone 95% on something.

You have a chance to be a part of something big on Tuesday. You have the chance to rock the house on how we vote in BC. The establishment will not give you the chance again to vote on electoral reform. It is not in the interest of Big Political Parties like the NDP or the Liberals to have STV. It makes them work hard at election time to either be your first or second choice. It would create more grass roots candidates from each region.

If BC STV gets voted in a super majority (60% +) on tuesday I might even consider running for election.

And tell me this - PQ can vote on whether or not to leave Canada with a simple majority - but if BC wants a new electoral system it needs a super majority? Something is messed up there.

But we can do it together. We can change the way politicians are elected. This isn't a right or left issue (although it is lamentable that BC STV used the same colours as the NPS candidates). This is about making a change.

I believe in BC STV - do you?


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