Fair Voting BC News Release (FWD)

DEMOREP1 at aol.com DEMOREP1 at aol.com
Wed Oct 7 15:03:09 PDT 1998

Defenders of Democracy in ALL areas not having a p.r. election method for
their local legislative bodies should be doing something similar to the BC
folks.  B.C. has the standard single member district gerrymander and the
resulting indirect minority rule government.  See Mr. Molnar's quotes below.
Subj:   News Release
Date:  Wed, Oct 7, 1998 1:30 AM EDT
From:  fairvotingbc at bigfoot.com, canada-votes at gatewest.net
X-From: nloenen at netcom.ca (Fair Voting BC)
Sender: owner-canada-votes at kynes.gatewest.net
Reply-to: fairvotingbc at bigfoot.com, canada-votes at gatewest.net
To: fairvotingbc at bigfoot.com

NEWS RELEASE   For Release 10:30 a.m. Wed. October 7/98


VANCOUVER:      The present electoral system in B.C. is out-dated and
undemocratic, according to a new citizens' group formed to lobby for
changes to the system that elects our provincial governments in B.C.
Fair Voting BC launched a province-wide campaign today aimed at
promoting a provincial referendum on ballot box reform.

The non-profit advocacy group made up of citizens from all parts of the
political spectrum is calling on British Columbians to pressure sitting
MLA's to commit to a referendum on a new voting system that would be
based on proportional representation, which would effectively distribute
political power based on the actual popular vote.

"British Columbians are ill-served by a voting system that gives one
hundred per cent of the power to a political party whose leaders and
policies more than sixty per cent of voters reject," said Fair Voting BC
President John Vegt, a Surrey Chartered Accountant. 

"In recent elections, regardless of the party elected, on election night
most voters got neither the local candidate nor the government they
voted for," Vegt said. "Our winner-take-all voting system doesn't work
and we want to change it." 

Vegt explained that a new voting system based on proportional
representation would not only give voters more clout, but it would also
be more inclusive and encourage greater participation by ordinary
voters, rather than leaving decision-making to special interest groups.

"We would end up with less polarization in our provincial politics with
a voting system based on proportional representation. Instead of
worrying about having to vote strategically, perhaps for a second
choice, to keep one party out of office, voters would be free to vote
for the party of their choice.  And as for parties, they would learn to
work together instead of instigating unproductive fights."


NEWS RELEASE  (continued)

In announcing the Fair Voting BC efforts to change the B.C. voting
system to make it more proportional, Vegt was joined by fellow Directors
Nick Loenen, Bob Ransford and Enrico Diano. Fair Voting BC Directors are
also supported by an Advisory Board, including Vancouver businessman
Andre Molnar, who pointed to the fact that in many democratic countries
voting systems are based on proportional representation, including
Germany, South Africa, Belgium, Ireland and Hungary.

Molnar recounted how his native Hungary, once dominated by an oppressive
Communist government, adopted a proportional voting system to maximize
the country's new democratic rights, and to keep government accountable
and responsible.

"Under a proportional representation system, governments are elected by
true majorities. That is the essence of democracy. Anything less is
tampering with democracy," declared Molnar.

Among other initiatives of their campaign plan, Fair Voting BC is
calling on the B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission to request that the
government expand their mandate to allow them to consider electoral
reforms based on a proportional voting system. They are also requesting
that the B.C. Civil Liberties Association challenge the current
provincial voting system in the courts, arguing that it violates the
Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:   Nick Loenen     Tel     604-274-3868

WEB SITE:                              

Fair Voting BC  103-9260 Number 2 Road, Richmond, BC V7E 2C8
Tel. 604-274-3868             Fax 604-274-3867
E-mail  fairvotingbc at bigfoot 
Website  http://www.corp.direct.ca/news/fair.voting.bc

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