Frame from Vancouver-False Creek MLA Sam Sullivan’s video analyzing the choices in B.C.’s referendum on voting systems focuses on the increased role of parties in determining the outcome of elections.

B.C. Premier John Horgan agrees to debate on new voting systems

Critics sharpen arguments as proportional representation vote looms

Premier John Horgan says he’s prepared to a debate B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson on the NDP-Green plan to change B.C.’s voting system, once municipal elections are out of the way.

Wilkinson called for a one-on-one debate after his summer tour of the province found many people aren’t even aware a referendum is happening, as Elections B.C. prepares to send out mail-in ballots to all registered voters starting Oct. 22.

In his September speech at their convention in Whistler, Horgan urged municipal leaders to take a “leap of faith” by choosing one of the three proportional representation systems offered on the ballot. Critics have seized on that comment to remind voters that it’s a leap of faith because two of the three systems are untried, and the size of new constituencies is only one of the things Horgan wants finalized after the last ballot is mailed in for counting on Nov. 30.

Elections B.C., the independent office that will start the referendum machinery as soon as the Oct. 20 municipal elections are over, describes the difference between the current “first past the post” system and the three proportional representation options picked by Attorney General David Eby.

• Voters will be represented by more than one MLA in their district, which will likely be larger than it is currently

• Smaller parties are more likely to elect MLAs, if they receive at least five per cent of the province-wide vote

• Coalitions or agreements between parties, like the one between the NDP and B.C. Greens that formed the present B.C. government, are “usually needed” in proportional representation

RELATED: Proportional representation means more parties, coalitions

One of the options picked by Eby, rural-urban proportional representation, is designed to address the biggest concern in rural B.C. regions, where ridings are already vast in size. It would impose multi-member districts only on urban areas.

Eby’s other choice, dual-member proportional, doubles riding size. Parties nominate two candidates, one designated “primary” and the other “secondary.”

Eby’s third option, mixed member proportional, gives parties the right to choose 40 per cent of their MLAs based on their share of the vote province-wide.

B.C. Liberal MLA Sam Sullivan has created a video that focuses on the loss of voter choice of MLA in all of the alternatives to first past the post, with parties gaining.

Supporters of proportional representation emphasize fairness, where 30 per cent of the vote produces 30 per cent of the seats. They promise collaboration instead of confrontation, and note that the NDP government has promised another chance to evaluate a new system after two B.C. elections.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Six Fort St. James students awarded scholarships for post-secondary education

Indigenous students awarded to further their studies

Coastal GasLink gets interim injunction against Unist’ot’en

The LNG pipeline company can start work Monday with enforcement approved by court.

Editorial: Go out and play

How much is too much screen time?

Fort St. James businesses get into the Christmas spirit with decorating contest

Northland Automotive Ltd. won first place in Fort St. James Chamber of… Continue reading

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Rescued B.C. cat with misshapen legs in need of forever home – with carpet

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

Most Read