Thursday, May 7, 2009

On Tuesday, British Columbians will be making history

If more than 60% of the voters support BC-STV, Tuesday's referendum will become one of the most important days in Canada's democracy. Tuesday will be the start of making democracy better--starting with British Columbia. Canada has advanced from allowing just male property owners the right to vote by including this right to women, minorities, and young people. Tuesday will advance the cause of democracy by improving the way how people vote and making our representatives better reflect the voters' choices.

I will ask the teachers of British Columbia who teach social studies, history, or politics to select eight boys and two girls to go to the front of the class. Ask your students how fair your picks are. The boys will think your picks are great; the girls will claim that you are unfair. Tell your students that your parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts elect about 80% men and 20% women to the legislative assembly and the federal House of Commons. If the teacher's picks are not fair in the classroom, why is it fair in under the First-Past-the-Post voting system? The naysayers of STV will state that Ireland and Malta have lower percentages of women in their STV parliaments. That is true. However, I think the good people of British Columbia are open minded enough to elect more women than Ireland and Malta. British Columbians are open minded to vote for BC-STV and eventually elect more women than are currently elected under First-Past-the-Post. When you vote in the referendum, think of your daughters; think of your sons. Someday, your daughter or son may become an MLA. Someday, she or he may become premier.

On Tuesday, you will be creating history when you cast your vote in the referendum. I hope you will cast it in favour of BC-STV (Single Transferable Vote).

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