Voters went for NDP candidates in Langley and Langley East ridings after years of Liberal MLAs. (Langley Advance Times files)

Voters went for NDP candidates in Langley and Langley East ridings after years of Liberal MLAs. (Langley Advance Times files)

LETTER: Langley citizen wants electoral reform so his vote matters

Letter writer says Langley votes were ignored because there are no swing ridings here

Dear Editor,

The dust settles, an election result is in, and the NDP has established a new mandate. Premier John Horgan has been much criticized for holding an election at such short notice, however the result seems to have been a success for his party. NDP influence has widened and many ridings that have been safe seats for the Liberals have now become swing ridings, both Langley ridings are among these. A

ll the signs and mess have been cleaned up already and most of us have returned to ‘business as usual’, resigned to this state of affairs.

So are we all really happy now? Well, not me actually…

In our system, most ridings are safe seats for one party or another (about 80 per cent of them). Most elections are decided in the swing ridings (about 20 per cent), and in these ridings a smaller percentage of voters have the potential to change who they will vote for.

It is this small number of voters who can substantially change the election outcome.

These facts are well known to the political parties. They fully recognize the importance of timing their election calls to capitalize on those moments when voter support is at its highest.

Perhaps we should also recognize that the parties who so vigorously protested the ‘snap election’ call, also fall under the same influences when they themselves get into power.

Let’s get used to it, the parties are doing what they must to win elections, but face it, they are manipulating the system, and us, to secure their own gains. Representation is not the main focus here, power politics is. Are you happy that a small group of voters, probably somewhere else, can swing an election result?

I get the feeling that most of us feel a duty to vote, to assert our citizenship in voting, and once the ballot goes in the box, we’re done. Go home and wash the dishes.

But wait, have you thought about what happens to your vote once though the slot? Did your vote actually contribute to the election of someone?

If the candidate you voted for won then I guess your vote counted. If you voted in one of the Langley ridings for any of the Liberal, Conservative, Green, Libertarian or the Independent candidates, your vote did nothing. It was ignored. Is that fair? You did your duty, but your vote was sidelined.

There have been attempts to change all this. Some good proposals have come forward, but our politicians seem to find a way out at the last minute. I think this constitutes a conflict of interest for them. They like the adrenaline rush, to ride the wave to the finish.

I think it is time for a change. Are you also ready to take a second look? Try this search; nationalcitizensassembly. I rest my case. I’m all done here. Thanks for listening,

Timothy Jones, Fort Langley

.

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