Monday, May 09, 2005

As a teacher I've been learning (You'll forgive me if I boast)

I think I missed something. When did David Suzuki become a political scientist? VANCOUVER (CP) - A change to a single transferable vote system for British Columbia elections would create for a more representative and democratic legislative system, speakers in support of the proposal told a Vancouver rally on Sunday. Environmentalist David Suzuki said voters will be taking part in a "historic opportunity" when they vote in a referendum on the issue as part of the provincial election on May 17. "The STV will lead to a government with a much broader representation of perspectives. It will reflect much more the diversity of the electorate," he said as he endorsed the proposed system. I must confess I'm not exactly up on the details of BC's proposed electoral changes; they don't directly affect me, and my first instinct is to be against any form of proportional representation that wonks claim will lead to "reflecting diversity," because it's likely to be profoundly anti-democratic. I still have no idea whether or not that's true in this case, but that leftist environmentalist demagogue/part-time zoologist David Suzuki is on-board doesn't exactly make me feel hopeful. In a sense, this is the same as random celebrities expounding on issues from an unrelated musically or cinematically-unrelated bully pulpit. In another, it's much worse; Suzuki is actually an accredited professional, who's being given undue credibility on this issue by virtue of his reputation as a genial media personality. He has a right to his opinion, but he shouldn't be playing the Noam Chomsky game, acting like an expert on a subject far outside his area of scholarly expertise.

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