Statement from the BC Labour Committee of the Communist Party of Canada
The Communist Party of Canada has, for many decades, advocated for a change in our voting system so that it would be more reflective of the democratic will of the working class and less conducive to minority rule by the most privileged capitalists and imperialists via their parties, the Conservatives and the Liberals, and other like-minded corporate shills. A vote in favour of Proportional Representation, and away from First-past-the-post, would be a very strong improvement to our eroding democracy and a step toward greater power being placed in the hands of working people, the unemployed, the underemployed, and all other oppressed peoples.
Many Western Liberal democracies were constituted in such a way that the ruling class of the day would be able to maintain much, if not all, their power and privilege regardless of the will of the majority of its citizens. They were designed, and, in particular, the ones that use First-past-the-post, to ensure that policies could be readily enacted whenever the ruling class wanted it, and that such policies could be enacted without the support of the majority working class.
These first-past-the-post parliaments and legislatures, including Canadian and American ones, are typically given 100% of the power while receiving 40-45% of the popular vote, and therefore garnering only 25% of the support of all eligible voters in federal and provincial elections, and even less support in municipal elections. Put in this perspective it’s easy to see why the biggest mouthpieces for ruling class interests are the ones proclaiming the current system is the best – because it has been the best for them – and not for everyone else.
This month’s referendum is arguably the most important opportunity the working class has ever had in BC to fundamentally change the nature of how we elect officials and subsequently make our governments more reflective and responsive to the will of all voting people.
BC’s Labour Committee of the Communist Party of Canada urges all workers, organized and unorganized, unemployed and underemployed, oppressed and marginalized peoples, to support the current pro-proportional Representation campaign and vote accordingly so that we can have governments that are at least proportionately reflective of the voting public. While we specifically support the first PR ballot option of a “Mixed Member Proportional” system, any of the proportional representation voting systems proposed would be better than the current first-past-the-post system.