Premier John Horgan to debate Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson on electoral reform


WATCH: Tonight, the premier is going toe to toe with the Liberal leader. Their debate pits our current voting system, first past the post, against proportional representation. But how much are British Columbians engaged in this issue? Mary Griffin explains. 

The Zone 91.3 host Dylan Willows urges his listeners to check out the radio station’s website for the latest information on the 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform.

On The Zone’s morning show, the focus is usually on music and banter. But these days, they’re throwing in a little proportional representation.

“Kind of breaking it down to help you understand exactly what this referendum is all about,” Willows said.

The Zone is known for its engaged listeners. And Willows said the reaction so far is positive.

“Really good. Generally, when you first bring up the topic, there is a lot of confusion that comes into the studio. We get a lot of text messages in from listeners, you know, asking where are some tools so I can learn what this referendum is about,” Willows said.

A number of videos on YouTube explain the differences in BC’s electoral reform referendum, including Double Blind.

The referendum is asking British Columbians if they prefer the current first-past-the-post electoral system or a switch to form a proportional representation.

A new poll by Mainstreet Research shows 50.5 per cent of British Columbians support the status quo first past the post system while 49.5 per cent favour a change to proportional representation.
There is an age gap. The majority of voters 65 and older favour of the current system, while younger voters prefer proportional representation.  The poll surveyed 616 British Columbians between Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, 2018, with a margin of error of +/- 3.92% and is accurate 19 times out of 20.

Elections BC mailed out more than 3.2 million referendum ballots to eligible voters to be returned by Nove. 30. It’s received 87,000 ballots so far.  But NDP MLA Bowinn Ma said she is not worried.

“Not concerned at all. I myself haven’t mailed my ballot in yet. I just received it last week, and I know that a lot of people are really looking forward to the debate tonight. So I suspect there is going to be a lot of chatter going on soon,” Ma said.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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