Tonight was supposed to be the time when all my doubts about Proportional Representation (PR) were going to be resolved in a half hour television debate between Premier Horgan and Leader of the Opposition Andrew Wilkinson. What I got instead of clarity is more of the political claptrap argument that artlessly suggests that the time has come for British Columbia to finally modernize its electoral system. The problem here, as his opponent so effectively pointed out, is that Horgan’s government has rigged a referendum with three options, two of which have never been tried and the third one seriously short on details as to its real implementation. What Horgan is saying, essentially, is that under his proposal, voters will still have their vote but nobody can know for sure what the government will then do with it to generate a sense of fair proportionality. Wilkinson is right in suggesting that PR, upon implementation, will likely take power away from the people and give it to the parties, big and small. This has always been a key concern for me: my right to know whom I am voting for and for what I am legally allowed to hold him or her accountable. As referendum go, this one with all its media hype has a format that comes with low thresholds and expectations but plenty of room to be manipulated if the PR side wins by a small margin. Three weeks into the mail-in experiment in democracy, the rate of return for Greater Victoria is about 1.5%.