A key ingredient in any democracy is that people choose their leaders based on their values. In our current voting system we are often forced to choose between a person or a party or to vote “strategically”. The make-up of the government often doesn’t reflect the popular vote so a party may only get 10% of the seats even if 30 % or 40% of the people voted for them. Even worse, one party usually ends up with 100% of the power, even if they only got 40% of the vote.
Many progressive democracies around the world like New Zealand, Scotland and Germany have already fixed these problems by bringing in “proportional representation” voting systems.
The referendum this week is asking if we should do the same. If you want a better, fairer voting system that really lets your vote count, answer Question #1 in favour of proportional representation. (All three options are fine so it’s OK to ignore Question #2). We’ll use the new system twice, and then hold a second referendum to make sure we’re happy with it.
Dr. Ilona Hale, MD