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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria artist in residence seeks seniors to share stories of life with students

The meeting is part of an intergenerational project focusing on face-to-face conversations

Victoria votes to slash sister city celebrations

Victoria will only celebrate its anniversary with Morioka, Japan this year

Dozen Metchosin ‘barn cats’ on the hunt for new homes

Broken Promises Animal Rescue hoping to re-home feral cats

Shortlisted options for Beacon Wharf replacement cost between $6.3 and $14.2 million

Select committee will investigate various questions around proposed replacement of iconic wharf

Women take centre stage at NHL all-star skills competition

Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a spirited 3-on-3 game between female players Friday night

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read