“Mr Fletcher didn’t do his homework on BC’s Proportional Representation referendum,” writes Halberstadt, referring to “The fix is in on proportional representation” (Trail Times May 8).

Fletcher didn’t do his homework

Letter to the Editor from Antoinette Halberstadt of Castlegar

Mr Fletcher didn’t do his homework on BC’s Proportional Representation referendum (“The fix is in on proportional representation” Trail Times May 8).

Odd that a “legislative reporter” hasn’t heard or read BC’s “Bill 6 – 2017 Electoral Reform Referendum Act” legislation that he implies doesn’t exist, about this Fall’s referendum about changing to a Proportional Representation election system, nor read the government’s “How We Vote” website that clearly spells out that the public will know by the end of May what the Attorney General’s proposals are for the referendum question and how it will be rolled out.

Let me help Tom Fletcher to catch up on the homework he didn’t do prior to writing his piece.

1. A minimum turnout has indeed been legislated. The threshold for a Yes vote to win in the Fall, is a simple majority, i.e. 50 per cent + 1 of all BC’ers who cast a vote. Try googling the legislation, Mr F.

2. The public will have plenty of time to weigh the pro’s and con’s. The government website https://engage.gov.bc.ca/howwevote/ clearly says:

“Results of the public engagement will inform a report by the Attorney General with recommendations for the referendum. The report will be posted publicly on this website before being presented to Cabinet.

“The regulations will be completed after final direction is received from Cabinet later this spring and will contain detailed rules for the referendum. The Attorney General will then announce details of the referendum, including the referendum date, campaign rules and ballot question(s).”

3. As for the “fringe party“ bogeyman, as a ‘political columnist’ one would expect that Mr Fletcher — rather than searching for the directorship of the hardly-heard-of group whose directors he slurs with innuendo — would have checked out the main Proportional Representation sites, such as Fair Vote Canada-BC. Searching for “PR4BC” would have found him this:-

“When we look at models for BC, …. the natural threshold to get a seat can range between 5 and 16%, depending on the design of the system and how it is implemented in each region.

“In the last three federal elections, all 15-20 “fringe” parties put together didn’t get 1% of the vote.

“If we look at other countries using proportional systems similar to what would be recommended for BC the number of parties in their legislatures is very similar to Canada today.

“Natural thresholds are built into made-for-BC systems because the proportionality would be at a REGIONAL level, not a province-wide level.”

Finally, Mr Fletcher and associates such as Bill Tieleman, how about the fine First-Past-The-Post country to the south of us, where the fringe is in power after having been invisibly absorbed into the Republican party?

Antoinette Halberstadt

Castlegar

Just Posted

Curling takes centre stage in Trail

The B.C. Senior Curling Championships kick off in Trail next week

Big announcement coming for Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

The announcement will be made today in the Trail-based hospital at 1 p.m.

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A

The accident occurred six kilometres east of Brilliant

Free Family Day fun for Greater Trail

Public skating in Rossland and Trail are a few of the free offerings for families this weekend

Updated: Snowfall warning ended for Trail

Environment Canada B.C. advises accumulations of 20 cm are expected overnight in Trail area

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Son tries to evict mom from Abbotsford home they share

Judge orders for home to be sold instead. Mom gets back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Police track armed kidnapping across Thompson-Okanagan

RCMP allege it was a targeted crime believed to be linked to the drug trade

St. Paul’s Hospital replacement slated to open in Vancouver in 2026

Announced many times, but this time there’s money, Adrian Dix says

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt

Sinkholes throughout the subdivision have prompted the District of Sechelt to issue evacuation orders

Olympian Rhoda Wurtele visits Fernie; reveals secret to skiing at 97

Rhoda Wurtele and her identical twin sister Rhona represented Canada at the 1948 Olympics

Most Read