It wouldn't take a referendum. It doesn't need a lot of study. The result wouldn't be complicated but would reflect the will of the BC voter far better than the hate-filled mud-slinging we've seen since I became a voter. Elections that result in four year majority mandates from 45% or less (usually lots less) of an ever-dwindling turnout.
I've plugged this idea as much as I can federally, as an individual citizen, because the Liberals opened it up -- though they seem to be circling the wagons again so as to avoid real change, but why not do this provincially?
I have an on-again, off-again relationship with blogging but I'm going to try to put up a concrete case for my favourite form of electoral reform applying it to this province alone. Regionalized Proportionality would work in BC -- I think really well. I am convinced that it would rejuvenate our democracy by making the governments we send to Victoria reflect who we are more closely and more simply than any other system I've seen.
No offence to the STV guys -- they're smart, they're the brains... and unfortunately, while I understand its strengths, its details are just too complicated for most voters to care enough to spend the time to look at it closely enough not be confused by it. Especially not while we (at least in some of the metro areas) are trying to afford living in what Fotheringham often called "Lotus Land" and "British California" -- as if we're that sunny (except for the Okanagan in summer), as if we can spend all that time on leisure (but many of us do).
In brief, my idea is to coalesce the ridings that sprawl across individual metro areas into single districts that elect as many members as the seats that were coalesced, but does so from a single ballot proportional list. The rural people still get "their local MLA" but the not-very-marginal but not-big-enough-to-command-local-majorities blocs that exist in the metro areas might actually send MLAs to Victoria that reflect what they want to see happen.
Okay, I nearly typed it: "what we want to see happen". Neither the NDP nor the BC Liberals reflect what I want to see happen and I have had it up to my eyebrows and above with the hate-and-fear filled campaigns I've seen nearly all of my adult life, stretching back certainly to Mr. Vander Zalm's campaigns, and imbibed in by both parties up until the present day. My vote has been parked with one particular party because I view them as the least impossible, least dubious other option.
Minority governments are not scary. The best policies in Canada were brought in under minority parliaments. If the parties know that they'll never get a majority but will always have to play nice, perhaps we'll see more constructive policy synergy and less playing off fear. Perhaps money will have less of an influence in the outcome. Perhaps not.
But this is what I want. Politically, this is what I think is worth working toward and I'm going to put out a few more articles over the next few week/months analysing for instance how my proposal might change our current electoral map. It will only be marginally interesting to see what electoral outcomes under such a situation would be but I'll put that out too as I can manage it. But it's only marginally relevant because I believe it will raise voter turn out and change other aspects of the campaigns significantly so that voting patterns will change in ways I cannot foresee.