WATCH: The countdown is on to a referendum that could change how voting works in BC. The vote for proportional representation is a month from today, but many aren’t even aware it’s around the corner. And while some say it would make government fairer, others disagree. Kori Sidaway has more.
The municipal elections aren’t the only thing Islanders will be voting on in the coming weeks. You may or may not have heard of it: proportional representation.
It’s an issue that doesn’t seem to be top of mind for many, but an ad taken out by the B.C. Green Party on the front page of today’s Times Colonist may be changing that.
“We have this extraordinary opportunity to make this electoral system better,” said Shawnigan Lake Green MLA Sonia Furstenau at a recent rally in Victoria.
The B.C. Green Party is the main voice campaigning for the change, and if voted through, may be able to consolidate more power because of it.
“The greens would benefit most, the NDP I would put squarely in the middle and the liberals would benefit the least,” said political communications expert David Black.
In our current first-past-the-post system, winner takes all, and historically that’s more often than not been the Liberals.
“It tends to yield majority governments which are able to act on their agendas, and that has benefits in terms of a path forward for their governments as they’re able to act on their promises. The main criticism is that not every vote is counted or treated equally,” said Black.
This is the third referendum the province has had on proportional representation. It was shot down twice, but other countries in the world like Germany, New Zealand and Bolivia all have this system in place. For here, it’s more a question of if it’s a change British Columbians want to see.
“Each system has it’s advantages and disadvantages. The big question is do you want to give up the devil you know or the devil you don’t?” said Black.
The mail-in ballot is open October 22 to November 30.