I came away from last week's public forum on BC-STV in frustration ['STV or STV?" The Chief, May 1]. The audience, myself included, was unable to tackle the biggest of obstacles to moving forward - power politics. Anita Hagen's arguments against BC-STV were as hollow as her ability to spin was strong.
One of Hagen's chief arguments was that local representation would be worse under BC-STV, but she failed to make any solid case for this. BC-STV was tailored from the generic STV system specifically for BC by the Citizen's Assembly to address our geography, hence "BC-STV."
Unlike the current system, BC-STV creates high competition for votes enhancing the need for votes from all areas, and its multiple member ridings provide a proportional result meaning that most voters are represented. Importantly, the most ardent supporters of BC-STV within the Assembly were from rural areas of B.C.
What we saw and heard at the forum was nothing short of misinformation driven by self-interest.
The idea that we'll have another opportunity in the near future to reform our voting system is a diversion. We are a diverse society full of competing views, but damn it wouldn't it be nice if we could focus on the greater good?
Anita Hagen and her tiny troupe of old-school politicos are small minds and selfish hearts. Unfortunately for the rest of us, they are good at what they do.