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.

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.

BC legislatureProportional representation

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

Just Posted

“Say cheese, uh, apple… nine-year-old Jason Moran and mum Bonnie are all smiles over a number of sales made during “apple day” of local cubs and beavers. Jason, a wolf cub, was one of 22 boys who, with the ready assistance of mothers, sold several boxes of apples in money-raising scheme for various projects.” (<em>The Lake News</em> Nov. 26, 1980)
Flashback: Crime wave, canoe misfortune and a highway lawsuit

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Following too closely

Maintaining a buffer in front of your vehicle gives you time to recover from inattention

Sonia Furstenau
Sonia Furstenau column: MLA vows to keep up the fight

COVID-19 continues to strain our communities

Heating cable laid in the cold frame, awaiting the layer of sand. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Greenhouse growing in the winter

I have a heating cable I’ve never used that I’m contemplating putting to work in the cold frame

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

Most Read