Editorial: Yes, No, or No opinion?

The losing side is not voting at all

With a little more than a week to go before the electoral reform referendum deadline, many people have yet to express an opinion.

OK, there have been lots of opinions expressed, but not all that many where it counts – sending in the ballot. As of Monday, the amount of returned ballots was still less than 20 per cent.

There have been accusations that the NDP/Green coalition rigged the questions of the reform ballot to support the Yes side. It would be as easy to argue that by choosing to conduct the referendum through mail-in ballots, it was also rigged, in this case, knowing there would be so few ballots returned, the Province could ignore the results.

In other words, a referendum to make the voters feel good, rather than produce a strong voice for change.

Considering how low turnouts can be in municipal elections, it might not have made much difference. But if the referendum was tied in with our Oct. 20 vote, it might at least had 30 per cent or so of voters sharing their opinion in a vote.

Whether you are for some form of proportional representation or for keeping the current first-past-the-post system doesn’t really matter. What matters is you register your vote by getting that ballot returned by Nov. 30.

The real losing side is going to be the people who didn’t vote at all – in a referendum, they are the only ones whose views aren’t being represented.

Every election, we send politicians to Victoria as part of our representative democracy. But that’s our last hold on them. When they vote, it’s to follow the party line, not the opinions of their individual constituents.

On this question, we get a chance to have a say, instead of leaving it up to a few politicians to decide our future for us. Don’t waste it.

-Black Press

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