Victoria had highest support for proportional representation than anywhere else on Vancouver Island


WATCH: For the third time in 13 years, British Columbians rejected electoral reform with over 61 per cent voting to keep the current first past the post system. Luisa Alvarez takes a closer look at the results and what it could mean for the BC Greens and NDP alliance. 

It was the third time in just thirteen years that voters were asked about changing the electoral system and this time, over 61 per cent of British Columbians voted against moving away from the current first past the post voting system.

“I’ve read numerous descriptions of each of the proportional representation possibilities and I failed to understand any of them clearly enough to support any of them,” said voter Lydia Foy.

Whatever the reason the message was received loud and clear.

“I don’t see it as a fail or a loss. I see it as a reflection of the views of the people of British Columbia. They clearly didn’t want a change in the electoral system. It’s not in our cards anytime soon to be revisiting this issue now,” said Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Green Party.

On Vancouver Island, the highest percentage of support for proportional representation was in Victoria, just over 66 per cent in Victoria-Beacon Hill and 65.04 per cent in Victoria- Swan Lake.

The ridings with the highest percentage of votes to keep first past-the-post was Parksville-Qualicum with over 66 and a half per cent and Courtenay-Comox with just over 55 per cent.

It’s numbers Royal Roads University political science professor David Black said don’t surprise him since the issue is just as much a demographic split as it is urban – rural.

“Younger often renters preferred PR older votes that have been socialized within first-past-the-post, been voting in it for decades, tended to favour the status quo first-past-the-post.

Now, with the resounding defeat of proportional representation Black says moving forward both the BC Greens and the NDP have a lot to think about.

“One way to address the way they divide the vote in the centre left is to combine in some way and not run against each other in all 87 ridings,” said Black.

Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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