For immediate release
Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Fair Vote Canada BC Applauds Clear Referendum Question

Fair Vote Canada BC, a citizens group for proportional representation, welcomed the announcement today of the referendum question by Attorney-General David Eby.

“We’re pleased to have a clear question for the citizens of BC. Now we can get to work on reaching as many voters as possible in our community over the next six months,” says Keith Poore, Fair Vote Canada BC’s Organizer.

The record response to the consultation, involving 91,000 participants, shows that BC voters care deeply about this issue. The government has responded with a question and recommendations that reflect what they heard from citizens, experts and stakeholders.

The referendum question is clear – this is a question of fairness to all voters. It’s a choice between the old system that works for lobbyists and insiders, and a modern system that works for voters.

We commend the government for making these guarantees clear to voters:

  • No significant increase in the size of the legislature.
  • No region of the province with fewer MLAs than it currently has.
  • No political party to receive a seat if they receive less than 5% of the overall vote in the province or region. 

Voters can choose a fairer system knowing that important values such as strong local and regional representation will be protected.

We are also pleased to see that the government has left the choice of preferred PR system to voters with three made-for-BC models.  A two part question with a ranked ballot trusts BC voters to form a consensus about what proportional system is the best system for them.

We are pleased that if proportional representation moves ahead, the exact details of the chosen system will be subject to an all-party committee where no one party has a majority of seats – informed by experts, Elections BC and the public.

All the systems on the ballot deliver strong local representation, more voter choice, fairer results and more cooperative politics, while ensuring that almost every voter can elect an MLA matching their values. All models ensure that every region of BC will have a stronger voice in our legislature by electing MLAs from both government and opposition. All models are easy for voters to use.

This referendum is ultimately a question of modernizing our voting system to make it fair. No party with 40% of the vote should be handed all of the power. Polls over 17 years show a strong majority of voters agree with this principle.

Fair Vote Canada BC is also pleased that the regulations ban big money from the referendum. “BC voters are tired of seeing groups with deep pockets exercising undue influence over elections,” says Gisela Ruckert, chair of Fair Vote Kamloops. “The current system works well for lobbyists and career politicians — self-interested groups who benefit from the status quo. Evidence shows that proportional systems work better for voters, which is why we see so many grassroots groups organizing to support this change. We want to make sure your vote means a government that works better for everyone. It’s time for a new kind of politics.”

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For more information, please contact

Keith Poore: keith.poore@fairvote.ca 604-401-6419
Gisela Ruckert: gisela.ruckert@gmail.com  778-220-5036

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Fair Vote Canada BC is a non-partisan, grassroots citizens organization committed to electoral reform, specifically, the implementation of proportional representation. We welcome participation from all shades of the political spectrum, as well as those who have no political affiliation. We have 25 local chapters and 11,000 supporters in BC. Ours is a movement that is powered by people, and supported by evidence.