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

B.C. residents to be asked to decide how they want vote for MLAs in the future

Later this month, British Columbians will be asked to vote on a proposed change to the way we elect our provincial MLAs.

The B.C. government wants to know if voters want to move away from the current system and if so, is proposing one of three forms of proportional representation. The current “first-past-the-post” system, awards the candidate in each riding who receives the most votes that riding’s seat in the B.C. Legislature.

The referendum will ask voters two questions—if they want to keep the current first-past-the-post system or change to a proportional representation system. If they do want a change, voters will then be asked to rank three proposed forms of proportional representation: dual member proportional, mixed member proportional and rural-urban proportional.

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

The referendum will be the third time B.C. has held a provincewide vote on changing the provincial voting system.

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

In 2005, a proposal to move to what was known as the B.C. Single Transferable Vote failed to win the 60 per cent support required at the time to pass. It received 57.7 per cent support, including majorities in 77 of the 79 ridings that existed in B.C. at the time. In 2009 , a second referendum was held, also on the BC-STV, with only 39.9 per cent supporting a change.

For the upcoming referendum, Elections BC mailed out referendum information cards to every household in the province in September, and a voter’s guide will be mailed out next week. Voters will receive referendum voting packages in the mail between Oct. 22 and Nov. 2 and the deadline to return them, also be mail, is 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 30.

Voters must be Canadian citizens, 18 years of age or older and residents of B.C. for at least six months prior to Nov. 30.

If a change is supported by a simple majority (50 per cent plus one), a second referendum would be held after two elections using the new system to confirm its use going forward.

Today the Capital News is presenting the arguments for and against proportional representation by local proponent Wayne Broughton, a professor at UBC Okanagan and opponent Kelowna lawyer Justin Dalton.

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


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

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

Kelowna RCMP investigate shots fired on Pandosy Street

Officers immediately flooded the area but the suspect was not located

BC CDC warns of two more Kelowna flights with COVID-19 exposure

Passengers on exposed flights are asked to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their flight

40 Under 40: Amal Alhuwayshil

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has launched its “40 Under Forty” for 2020

A look back at Kelowna’s past

A postcard showing the S.S. Sicamous in Kelowna

Six-vehicle collision involving two semi-trucks leaves several injured near Sicamous

Investigators believe a semi-truck crossed a double solid line along Trans-Canada Highway

Kelowna school says goodbye to elementary campus

Heritage Christian School’s new elementary wing will open in fall 2021

Woman receives ‘extremely disturbing sexual threats’ while on Lower Mainland bus

The woman was riding the bus when she received threats of sexual violence from someone nearby

‘We’re not busting ghosts’: Northern B.C. paranormal investigators check out bistro

Paranormal North Coast British Columbia recently checked out PF Bistro at City Centre Mall.

Morning Start: An animal epidemic is called an ‘epizootic’

Your morning start for Thursday, July 16, 2020

Russian hackers seeking to steal COVID-19 vaccine data: intel agencies

It is believed APT29, also known as ‘the Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bear’ was responsible

Twitter racing to unravel mystery cyberattack

Some of the world’s most prominent names had their Twitter accounts post invitations for an apparent Bitcoin scam

B.C. announces funding to support post-secondary students with disabilities

The province is investing $275,000 in the new BCcampus website

EDITORIAL: Counting the costs of a pandemic

As COVID-19 continues, Canada’s debt and deficit are growing while credit rating drops

Kootnekoff: New workplace harassment and violence requirements

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years.

Most Read