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LETTER: Writer ponders changes to Langley and neighbouring federal ridings

Current voting system is winner takes all and doesn’t represent how Canadians voted

Dear Editor,

When I look at the results of the election on Monday, I see that the winning candidate took 47 per cent of the vote. That makes the riding Conservative, with the colour blue.

Shall we also make note that 53 per cent voted for someone else. I detect a few more colours here, like plum, green, red, orange…

Am I to understand then, that 47 per cent of the voters here get representation in Parliament and 53 per cent don’t? This is like going to Jim’s Pizza and ordering and paying for ham and pineapple, and the server bringing out pepperoni, mushrooms and green peppers. Oh no sir! That’s all you get! Take it or leave it.

Oh I get it. This is the classic Hobson’s Choice. Hobson was a stable keeper in London years ago. He told customers that they could have any horse in the stable, so long as it was the one nearest the door.

Oh, I must remember my manners. My congratulations to Mr. Van Popta on his win. I will try to see him soon as I would like to discuss some things about the voting system.

I also looked at some of the adjacent ridings, and am seeing a similar patchwork of colours. In each case all colours except one are thrown away.

I decided to look a little further, and summed all the votes for each party in four ridings. So I chose LangleyAldergrove, Abbotsford, Cloverdale-Langley city, and Pitt Meadows Maple Ridge.

Among the four ridings, Liberals won 28 per cent, Conservatives gathered 43 per cent, NDP took 19 per cent. Green took seven per cent, and others fewer votes. If the ridings were amalgamated and four MPs elected, we would probably be represented by one Liberal MP, two Conservative MPs and one NDP MP.

In the above scenario, the success rate of voters would rise to 90 per cent. So within this expanded riding 90 per cent of us could find an MP that would give us a hearing.

Throughout Canada the same applies. Most votes do not actually elect anyone but have placebo effect only. It leads to distortions. Nationally the Liberals won 33.1 per cent of the votes and the Conservatives took 34.4 per cent. The Conservatives won more votes, but the Liberals formed the government. Wrong winner scenario.

Oh, my manners again. Thank you to all of those who ran for office, and thank you for flying all those colours. I look forward to the day when the speckled quilt of our parliament more accurately represents us.

Timothy Jones, Fort Langley

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