I won’t vote in PR referendum
I have decided not to exercise my right to vote in the current referendum. My reasoning is that the process is so flawed that the simple act of voting will be a tacit acceptance of an undemocratic and dishonest attempt to influence the results.
Here are some of the problems as I see it:
• A referendum is normally presented as a choice between two options, not an arbitrarily selected list of several options based on recommendations from the Office of the Attorney General and does not include the STV system recommended by a Citizens Committee in the first referendum.
• A one paragraph description of options presented now is completely insufficient for an understanding of such an important and complex issue.
• I live in the Cowichan Valley and have no way of knowing what electoral division I may end up in or what political forces may come to bear in the determination of future boundaries. The possibilities of gerry mandering and what safeguards would be in place to prevent it are not addressed.
• The first referendum approved the STV system by a vote of 58 per cent. It needed 60 per cent to pass. What is the threshold this time?
It appears to me that many people share some of my concerns and will either not vote at all or vote for the status quo simply because it is safer to stay with the system you know than to take a chance on something that you do not understand. The voter turnout so far is exceedingly low, about 24 per cent. There must be a level of voter response below which it should be acknowledged that the current referendum lacks the confidence of the voters and is therefore invalid.