The questions to be asked in the upcoming proportional representation referendum in B.C. —Capital News file

Kelowna chamber to host proportional representation debate

Proponent and opponent of changing the provincial election system will argue their sides Oct. 17

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce will host a debate about the advantages and disadvantages of proportional representation Wednesday .

The event, to be held during a luncheon at the Coast Capri Hotel and will feature Bill Tieleman, a proponent of the “no” side in the upcoming provincial referendum on switching to proportional representation to elect MLAs, and Marina Dobrinskaya, a supporter of the “yes” side.

According to the chamber, Tieleman and Dobrinskaya both represent groups that have received $500,000 each from the B.C. government to help educate the public about the pros and cons of proportional representation leading up to the mail-in referendum.

RELATED: To change, or not to change, that is the proportional representation referendum question

Dobrinskaya is the B.C. director of the Broadbent Institute, an independent national organization that champions change through the promotion of democracy, equality, and sustainability, and the training of a new generation of leaders. She is active in the civic Vision Vancouver party. She has 15 years of political experience, having worked in government, running a governing political party and working in numerous campaigns at the local, provincial and federal levels. She is also a regular media commentator on both municipal and provincial politics.

Tieleman is a well-known B.C. political strategist and campaigner, having played leading roles in past B.C. referendums, including the ones that defeated proposed changes to a B.C single transferable vote electoral system to elect MLAs in 2005 and 2009, and then as strategist for fight to dump the Harmonized Sales Tax in 2011. Tieleman was previously communications director to then-B.C. NDP premier Glen Clark 1996 and to the B.C. Federation of Labour under then-president Ken Georgetti.

The Kelowna chamber luncheon is scheduled for noon on Oct. 17.

RELATED: B.C.’s proportional representation referendum: The case for switching to PR

The chamber says B.C.’s electoral system has a direct correlation to how the provincial legislature operates, the approval of major investment projects and the management of our economy, so it’s important the public understand both side of the referendum argument.

“It’s extremely important that British Columbians and business owners and operators understand proportional representation and why you need to vote in the upcoming referendum,” says the chamber.

The referendum will feature a mail-in ballot. The province will start mailing out ballots to all British Columbians starting Oct. 22. and voters must return them by Nov. 30.

The referendum will consist of two questions, the first asking voters if they want to see a change from the current, “first-past-the-post” system of electing MLAs in each provincial riding. If so, a second question will give voters the choice of three forms of proportional representation—dual-member proportional, mixed-member proportional and rural-urban proportional—and voters will be asked to rank them.

RELATED: B.C.’s proportional representation referendum: The case against switching to PR

Dual-member proportional would produce two representatives in each riding. The first seat would be awarded to the candidate who receives the most votes—similar to first-past-the-post. The second seat would be awarded to one of the remaining candidates so proportionality is achieved across the entire province using a calculation to award parties their seats in ridings where they had their strongest performances.

Mixed-member proportional would see voters get two votes—one to decide the MLA for the single-seat riding, and one for a political party. Seats in the B.C. Legislature would then be filled first by the elected candidates from the ridings and then by the party candidates based on the percentage of votes each party received in the overall provincial election.

Rural–urban proportional is a hybrid system that would use mixed-member proportional representation in rural areas and a single transferable vote in urban and semi-urban areas.

If the province moves to proportional representation, a second referendum will be held following the second provincial vote using the new system to see if British Columbians want to continue using it.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna golf course ready and open for spring business

Two Eagles Golf Course opened Saturday, more to come

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA hopes annual climb will promote peace

MLA Norm Letnick’s 5th Annual Spring Climb for Health & World Peace is April 6

Possible assault to bus driver in Kelowna

A minor bus crash was reported just after 8 p.m. Friday night

Car crash nearly sends car over embankment in West Kelowna

RCMP search for driver of alleged stolen vehicle that caused crash

Update: Highway 3 reopened following rockslide near Keremeos

The slide occurred Friday March 22, at about 8 p.m. between Red Bridge and Standing Rock

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Okanagan woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Letter: Stop raising the minimum wage

To the editor: The government is looking for ways to put more… Continue reading

Letter: Immigration will not help other countries, or our own

To the editor: Firearms are not the culprit in all those massive… Continue reading

Letter: Sprawl destroying natural landscape

To the editor: I agree with the assessment by Ian Pooley in… Continue reading

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Most Read