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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

She is right! It is a good thing that many voters did exercise their right to have a voice. That’s what democracy is all about

The results of BC’s experiment with possibly changing the way we vote was announced at 2:30pm today ... and of course we know that 61.3% of voters returning their ballots opted to continue with First Past the Post as our way of voting in provincial elections.

When I asked Conservative Party interim Deputy Leader Justin Greenwood what these results meant for the Party, he stated:

With the results of the referendum out, it doesn’t change our party's path; Which is to give British Columbians a true Conservative choice at the ballot. The result just makes the path a little tougher, but that's alright. We will continue to stand for our values and to hold those other 3 tax and spend parties to account.”

Meantime, Andrew Wilkinson and the BC Liberals want us to know that all the British Columbians who voted for change can be assured that, “... they have been heard”.

He went on to say, “We need a government for the 21st century. One that looks to the future to create opportunity for all of BC, one that not only addresses the issues facing British Columbians today, but prepares for the ones they will face tomorrow”. 

Hmmmm ... I guess that means that for the 16 straight years they were in power they felt there was no need for a government, “... that looks to the future to create opportunity for all of BC”

That’s something echoed by the Conservatives Justin Greenwood.  When I asked him about that this afternoon, he informed me that:

There is a lot of ground to gain with the Liberals having 16 years of cover-ups and mistakes that they're desperately trying to disconnect from. They have zero credibility on most issues facing British Columbians today”.

And while today, BC Liberals were telling British Columbians that ... the best way to improve our democracy and restore faith in the system is by modernizing and adapting to meet those challenges in innovative and new ways ... Gisela Ruckert of Fair Vote Canada / BC stated:

We are confident that proportional representation is coming to Canada soon.  It would have been a feather in our cap for BC to lead the way, of course, but pro rep will get here eventually.”

She continued, “Advocating for change is always the greater challenge.  Proponents have to convince people to take a plunge into the unfamiliar.  Once folks see it in action somewhere else in Canada, the benefits of pro rep will start to outweigh the obstacle posed by unfamiliarity. There are solid reasons why most modern democracies are choosing not to use first-past-the-post -- the comparative research is clear, compelling and consistent in favour of pro rep.”

And while Fair Vote Canada / BC will continue advocating for change, even if unfamiliar ... so too will the BC Conservatives, again according to Deputy Leader Justin Greenwood:

We will continue to stand for our values and to hold those other three tax and spend parties (BC Liberals, BC NDP, and BC Greens) to account.  The Conservatives are not just polling at 10% right now, we're also current polling at 20% in the interior, and this with the question being, ‘if there was an election right now’, which is the current FPTP model.”

And thoughts on the up-coming Nanaimo by-election Justin?

I believe this will be an interesting campaign once it's called. Our party has strong riding associations on the island that will be coming together for this election. I'm confident the Conservative message will be heard”, he said.

And while Andrew Wilkinson today seemed unable to be conciliatory to the Yes side, instead saying; “T
his has never been about improving our democracy, it was always about power and control. The best way to improve our democracy and restore faith in the system is by modernizing and adapting to meet those challenges in innovative and new ways.”

Kamloops resident on Fair Vote BC representative Gisela Ruckert congratulated all who took part in the vote, “While the result is not what we were hoping for, we are pleased that so many voters exercised their right to have a voice on this important decision”.

And she is right!  It is a good thing that many voters did exercise their right to have a voice.  That’s what democracy is all about.

I’m Alan Forseth in Kamloops.  If you have any thoughts on this commentary, please share them below in the Comments Section.


  1. I would like to say that I am pleased with the vote.
    While I know a new system may have given the BC Conservative Party a fairer shake at the polls, I don't trust the NDP and Green party to have had our best interests at heart. Especially when promoting a concept with no clear outcome...we didn't even get to vote on the ACTUAL new system that would have been used. When we look to Europe and see the nightmare of it taking MONTHS for parties to form a government then falling apart, and having elections every year because of the instability of the system, as well as huge interest groups now forming parties (do we want 35 parties running at once or a party for every ethnic group or political ideology? I don't think so). I also fear there are outside interests trying to put this in place that don't have our best interests in mind...just thoughts... As usual the politicos are dismissing this as simple ignorance or that we are afraid of the unfamiliar...honestly...I think we can read and make decisions for ourselves! BC Conservatives...YOU ROCK and we will make it in on our own meritts!


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