Friday, May 8, 2009

The Lesser of Two Evils

I cast my ballot in advanced polls in the British Columbia's "none of the above" Election this week, and reluctantly chose Gordon Campbell's Liberal Party. In what is ostensibly a two party race, I did consider voting for the Green Party as a protest vote. That however would be difficult to reconcile if the NDP infact won, and why would I vote for a party with which I agree with maybe 10% of its policy platform? I have found in talking to some people who vote Green that they do so knowing that they have no chance of winning. They feel better about themselves if they vote for the "Earth Party", but if you actually quiz them on Green policy, they either don't know it or disagree with it. Of course this is not true of all Green voters. Some of them really are as crazy as Elizabeth May, hard though it may be to believe.

I also voted against the STV proportional representation referendum. While I agree with proportional representation in theory, that if 10% of the people really want a green parliament it should be represented in the legislature, the BC STV is mathematically flawed. One principal that I believe in strongly in both Federal and Provincial Parliament is that elected members represent a geographic territory and are accountable to the electorate of that riding. Aside from the fact that I am growing more and more frustrated with minority governments by the day (and proportional representation makes them mathematically more probable); the proposal for redistributing seats and votes under STV is incredibly convoluted and is counter to the one aspect of our system that is most important to me as an active participant in this democracy.

Ironically, at first I was leaning towards voting yes. That was of course until I heard Elizabeth May strongly endorse it. That was enough to push me to other side. I tend to treat Elizabeth May in the same manner as George in that one episode of Seinfeld where he concludes that every instinct he has is wrong. Then Jerry says "if every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to by right." That's Elizabeth May to me. Anytime I hear her give an opinion on policy, I immediately assume that the opposite would have to be right.

So thank you Ms May, for helping convince me to vote against proportional representation in British Columbia...

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