So, I want to get this straight; I don’t want to misrepresent anything during my deep political conversations at Tim’s. If anyone can help me bring clarity to my understanding, this is what I think I know:

Premier MacLauchlan used hundreds of thousands of our taxpayer dollars to see if Islanders want electoral reform. The results of his plebiscite show the majority of Islanders who voted, clearly favour Mixed Member Proportional Representation. Constitutionally, the plebiscite is transparent; it clearly meets the requirements to give direction to the premier to move forward on Mixed Member Proportional Representation. So far, so good - as promised, everything’s clear and transparent.

But here’s where the fog rolls in. Premier MacLauchlan, after the clear results of the plebiscite are made transparent, claims the results aren’t clear. Based on no forewarning or any standard of transparency, he herds the matter behind closed doors where it’s decided the results of the plebiscite will be paid for by Islanders but the results that Islanders voted for will be ignored. I think this is where transparency goes poof, but there’s more, so I could be wrong.

Okay, based on what he claims to be the principle of transparency and clarity, Premier MacLauchlan brings back from behind closed doors, a motion that promises a binding referendum (his words) on electoral reform. Shunning transparency, MacLauchlan does not allow an open vote on the motion. And to be fair, he doesn’t have to because during the last election a little over 40 per cent of the votes gave him an 18 seat control about what gets done. And, a little less than 40 per cent of the votes got the PCs only eight seats. Ah, good old First-past-the-post.

But here’s where I need help. Why is around 40 per cent not good enough for an open and transparent plebiscite but it is good enough to guarantee a motion that was made, maybe even voted upon (who knows?) behind closed doors? Sorry, I did tell you I was confused.

Oh well, at least our premier, a constitutional expert, has allowed us to vote on a binding referendum. Finally, the clarity and transparency we were promised will be delivered, maybe, in 2019? Or, maybe not. It seems our dentist friend, who claims no deep constitutional expertise, had to drill our premier on, well, The Constitution. He noted that we can’t pass laws a future legislature cannot change. So, because our Constitution will not allow it, there can’t be a binding referendum - well, legally.

So, as you can see, I need help to understand the recent decisions made by the premier and those paid to follow him. I just pray you don’t tell me I’ve already got it right.

Walter Wilkins


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