Letters to the Editor: June 22

Proportional representation long overdue; Where have all the wildlife gone; and more …

Proportional Representation Long Overdue:

Reading editorials and letters to the editor regarding the up-coming proportional representation referendum, I felt some counterbalance is necessary. Thus far, negative views have primarily been expressed.

Tom Felcher’s BC views column calls the proposed voting systems “goofy.” On the contrary, our existing First Past the Post system produces “majority” governments that most voters did not vote for. How goofy is that?

Tom mischaracterizes it all as “rushed,” “untested”, and “complicated”. On the contrary, proportional representation is well tested, and in common use in other countries. Google search which countries uses Mixed Member PR, for instance. The concern about “list” candidates strikes me as overstated; we currently elect candidates from party lists, as those are who appear on the ballots.

Another writer to the editor states a preference for one “winner” rather than a coalition of two or more “losers.” There seems to me here a misunderstanding of what democracy is. It is not about “winners” and “losers”, but rather about representation in the legislature.

The objective of proportional representation is to represent the citizenry in proportion to how they actually voted. If that leads to compromises between multiple parties to produce a result most of us can live with, sign me up. I would call that much more democratic than our current system of binary false-majorities formed with 40% support.

Harold Boomkarahke/Cranbrook

Where have all the wildlife gone?

There is a song that includes the phrase “where have all the young men gone.” Now the catch phase in the East Kootenay is “where have all the wildlife gone.”

Recently there has been information on wildlife populations in the East Kootenay that show elk in 10 years declining by 50%, Bull River sheep declining by 60%, moose in the Bull River declining by 50%, most other sheep herds are in free fall decline, Caribou are almost extirpated.

Yet the distressing part is we hear absolutely nothing from Minister Doug Donaldson as to how he intends to turn these dramatic declines around. No funding, no increase in staffing, no research and no action plan. Does Minister of NO just not care about the wildlife portion of his portfolio.

The other distressing part of the political scene is the huge numbers of NDP MLAs from the lower mainland and Vancouver Island that appear to be more concerned about coastal issues than our wildlife or other interior issues. Our two closest NDP MLA’s in Nelson-Creston and Kootenay-Boundary also appear to have no interest in East Kootenay Wildlife as I have heard nothing from either Minister supporting turning our dramatic decline in wildlife around. It is becoming clear to me that the NDP do not care about all British Columbians, they only take care of ridings that voted for them to the exclusion of all others. The only support we are getting is from our Liberal MLAs.

Whether you are a hunter or wildlife viewer the dramatic drop in wildlife numbers ought to scare the dickens out of everyone. People enjoy seeing wildlife and if everyone does not get the energy to write the Minister we will continue to see the declines in wildlife numbers as management to zero continues. The future of our wildlife is resting with all wildlife lovers and their willingness in writing to the Minister demanding action.

Larry Hall/Cranbrook

Religious targets of radical rulings

My uncle was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1915. His goal was to follow in his tather’s footsteps and become a lawyer. He entered university in the 1930s to pursue this dream.

Then, the highest authority in the land ruled that he must leave the university and never become a lawyer in Germany because of his religion.

Fast forward to today. A university in British Columbia wants to start a law department in order to train students who wish to become lawyers. The highest authority in the land has ruled that any students graduating from this university will be unable to practice law in Canada because of their religion.

Have you guessed what religions were the target of these radical rulings? In the first case it was Jewish. In the second, Christianity.

Janet R. John/Cranbrook

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