Dear Editor:

The new Liberal government has promised that the 2015 election would be the last election using our current system of first-past-the-post We will make every vote count.

We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting.

It seems now that the Liberals are waffling on proportional representation, by either advocating for ranked ballots or avoiding the election promise altogether. For more information, visit the Fair Vote Canada press release at: www.fairvote.ca/strong-mandate.

Here are some common misconceptions about proportional representation (PR): Less local/regional representation False. There will actually be more; Countries similar to Canada do not have PR False. Most progressive countries do use a form of PR. Of OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, 85 percent use some form of PR including New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, and Scotland; Too complicated False. When broken down to their basic parts, proportional systems are quite simple and provide more choice.

PR has some significant benefits: Avoids an American-style system which bounces between two parties without substantial, progressive, and diverse opposition; A stronger voice for native Canadians, young people, environmental groups, and small political parties; Diminishes representation dominated by party politics versus local and regional and individual voter needs.

A PR system reduces the wasted vote syndrome and avoids the fear of vote splitting.

A footnote about using Ranked Ballots and/or Single Transferable Voting (STV) as a replacement for the existing First Past the Post system: please be careful. Ranked Ballots and STV can be used as mechanisms within a proportional voting system.

However, by themselves, they do NOT provide proportionality. Watch out for this if there is ever a referendum on this issue. My preference is for Mixed Member Proportional Representation. PR has worked well in other economically successful countries. Please help make it happen for us.

For a more comprehensive picture, visit the Fair Vote Canada website at: www.fairvote.ca/. For what is Proportional Representation, check out three short videos at: www.fairvote.ca/proportional-representation/.

Most importantly, if you feel strongly about such issues, please write or email your MP: Wayne.Stetski@parl.gc.ca, the Minister of Democratic Institutions: Maryam.Monsef@parl.gc.ca, and the Prime Minister: justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca.

Eric Peter

Invermere