Proportional representation breeds unstable governments

B.C.’s electoral reform referendum could lead to more shaky coalitions and less effective government

Proportional representation breeds unstable governmentsSome see the upcoming B.C. referendum on electoral reform – whether the province should switch to a proportional representation (PR) voting system – as a blatant attempt by the B.C. Green Party to secure more power. While it’s clear that under any form of PR, the Greens could increase their seat share, there would also…

Fairness should be at the heart of electoral reform

Every argument in favour of our current flawed system is either easily rebutted or simply untrue

Fairness should be at the heart of electoral reformIn a recent address on proportional representation (PR), Guy Giorno, one of Stephen Harper’s former strategists, said, “The unassailable moral high ground we (supporters of PR) hold is the people and a result that fairly reflects their will.” This caused me to pause and reflect. I’ve long been a supporter of PR and now I…

Psst … want to buy a pipeline?

Pierre Trudeau would be proud. His son, – albeit unwillingly – has achieved a measure of nationalization the old man never could

Psst … want to buy a pipeline?An important date passed recently in the ongoing Trans Mountain pipeline saga, but one could be forgiven for missing it. That’s because the federal government had been working with operator Kinder Morgan to flip the controversial project to a third-party buyer before July 22. There were no takers. That means Canadian taxpayers are the proud…

B.C. can spur entrepreneurship by cutting personal income taxes

The downward trend in entrepreneurship could have negative and widespread effects on B.C.’s economic well-being

B.C. can spur entrepreneurship by cutting personal income taxesBy Ergete Ferede and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute Entrepreneurship remains a vital source of innovation, which helps grow economies and provide employment opportunities for British Columbians. Unfortunately, several recent studies have found fewer businesses are being started in B.C. (and Canada as a whole), pointing a long-term decline in rates of entrepreneurship. This down­ward…

B.C. moves to embrace the essence of good government

As our country has evolved, dialogue is encouraged in education and the media, but is stymied in our highest law-making institutions

B.C. moves to embrace the essence of good government“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Though the origin of this statement is debated, its essence beautifully summarizes the ideals of our democracy and the importance of freedom of speech. While I have my opinions on certain issues, I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate…

B.C. democratic reform neither simple nor straightforward

Referendum may grant more power to B.C. politicians and bureaucrats, at democracy’s expense

B.C. democratic reform neither simple nor straightforwardThis fall, British Columbians will vote on what system they prefer for provincial elections. But far too much uncertainty surrounds all the potential choices. The mail-in referendum ballot will give voters two choices: B.C.’s current first-past-the-post system or proportional representation. A secondary question will ask: If adopted, what type of proportional representation system would you…

B.C. must rein in public sector wages and benefits

Bringing government employee wages and benefits in line with private-sector norms is key to balancing B.C.’s budget

B.C. must rein in public sector wages and benefitsBy Charles Lammam, Hugh MacIntyre and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute During last year’s election campaign and in his first full budget as premier, John Horgan promised to balance British Columbia’s operating budget. If his NDP government remains committed to this promise, the coming negotiations on compensation with 183 public-sector unions will be critically important. After…

Leave our electoral system alone

British Columbians are being asked, for the third time, to vote on drastic electoral changes. It would be a mistake

Leave our electoral system aloneAmericans look upon their government to ensure them life, liberty and the chance to pursue happiness. In Canada, peace, order and good government are what we expect from our leaders. For the last 150 years that is what we have received. Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live because we…

Horgan’s hypocrisy, Weaver’s green energy fantasy hurt all Canadians

The B.C. premier and his Green Party puppet master have created a debilitating, ill-conceived mess over the Trans Mountain pipeline

Horgan’s hypocrisy, Weaver’s green energy fantasy hurt all CanadiansThe political discourse surrounding Canada’s oil industry has morphed into a combination of schizophrenia, hypocrisy and fantasy. This debilitating countrywide phenomenon is clearly exemplified at both the federal and provincial levels. But it’s the recent actions of B.C. Premier John Horgan and his puppet master, Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver, that earn my nomination for…

B.C. closing doors to investment

Government policies mean the province is gaining an international reputation as a place where major projects can’t get done

B.C. closing doors to investmentBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute More British Columbians think the province is on the wrong track than the right one, according to a new Angus Reid poll. And there’s good reason to be concerned about B.C.’s policy direction. Since assuming office last year, Premier John Horgan’s government has done little to…

B.C. wants more rental units; will municipalities follow through?

New zoning powers for local governments will only meaningfully affect rental vacancy rates if cities streamline approval processes

B.C. wants more rental units; will municipalities follow through?The British Columbia government recently introduced legislation aimed at housing affordability, which – among other things – would grant municipalities the power to zone for rental-only housing, ostensibly to preserve and expand the supply of rental units in the province’s tightest housing markets. With Metro Vancouver’s vacancy rate consistently below one per cent, there’s a…

Insurance Corp. of B.C. faces uncertain future

Canada’s only mandatory insurance provider is digging a deep financial hole and the B.C. government is looking for answers

Insurance Corp. of B.C. faces uncertain futureIt’s no secret that the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia (ICBC) is under financial distress. But should it be saved? In 2016-17, it suffered its largest loss ever – $889 million, an amount equal to 18 per cent of its total premiums. What’s worse, it’s heading for an even larger $1.3 billion loss this year,…

The folly of embracing universal daycare

Quebec’s experience with government-subsidized daycare should serve as a warning for B.C.

The folly of embracing universal daycareThe recent British Columbia provincial budget makes it clear that the government is forging ahead with plans to pursue universal government-subsidized daycare. But B.C. is not the first to go down this path and there are lessons to be learned. While the 2018 budget didn’t explicitly call for $10-a-daycare – a key plank in the NDP’s…

A two-step approach to electoral reform

One referendum, with little public education, is not enough. Voters need to have full knowledge of the consequences of their choices

A two-step approach to electoral reformIn its haste to change the way we vote, British Columbia’s new government has created an unnecessarily short timeline. While advocates for reform think the speedy process will help their cause, it’s more likely to result in another failed attempt at changing the way representatives are selected. The government’s public consultation campaign on the referendum…

B.C.’s budget cools the economic climate

The B.C. budget does little to improve the investment climate or mitigate the effects of policy changes emanating from the U.S.

B.C.’s budget cools the economic climateBy Charles Lammam Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute The fact that the first full budget from B.C.’s new government includes major tax increases will likely go unnoticed by many – unfortunately. Instead, many economic commentators will focus on the government’s aim to balance the operating budget every year. A fiscal framework that avoids the deficit-financed…
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