Dear Editor:

During recent weeks, the local media reported on the political parties position on electoral reform and proportional representation.

The Conservative partys response, put forward by David Wilks, was that voters had rejected Electoral Reform and that it was not an issue. Not quite true!

In British Columbia, voters supported the proportional representation system proposed by the Citizens Assembly on electoral reform by a vote of 58.8 per cent. In the Kootenay-Columbia region, the vote was over 60 per cent, which begs the question: who are we sending to Ottawa to represent the people in this riding?

Someone who represents our views on important issues or someone who tows the party line?

The current system of First Past the Post voting is inherently an unfair system. During the last election, the Conservative party won a majority government with about 39 per cent of the popular vote. The voter turnout was just over 61 per cent, so the government gained a majority with only a quarter of the eligible voters in Canada.

It is well-documented that voter apathy stems from the current unfair system. Many feel their vote is not heard, which results in low voter turnout at the polls.

Canadians deserve a fair and inclusive voting system. We can start the process of reform by sending a Member of Parliament to Ottawa who represents the views of Kootenay-Columbia.

Paul Galbraith


Editors note: Mr. Galbraith represented the Columbia Region on the Citizens Assembly for Electoral Reform.