Claim: “This is a way to keep the NDP and Greens in power indefinitely. People need to wake up to that”

Stated by: Andrew Wilkinson, BC Liberal Leader. The Province, June 3, 2018.

Fact Check

This claim is 100% false. 

Proportional representation is used by over 90 countries, including most of the countries in the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD). Governments in countries with proportional representation change based on how people vote at election times, with parties on the left, centre and right all having turns in government.

There’s no evidence that one particular government or ideology will be fixed in place “indefinitely” with proportional representation.

This claim by opponents is especially bizarre considering one of their other tactics is to fear-monger about right-wing “extremist” parties in government (see Fact Check on “extremists” and “fringe parties”).

Governments change with Proportional Representation

Just like in countries with first-past-the-post, governments change in countries with proportional representation. Proportional representation just means the seats in the legislature will much more closely reflect the popular vote. The picture on the right is an example of how governments have changed in the past 20 years in two countries that use Mixed Member Proportional Representation (note: New Zealand has elections every 3 years).

Governments vary with Proportional Representation

As the image on the right shows (2016), a variety of governments are in power in Europe, most of which uses proportional representation.

Photo credit:

BC’s History of Voter Preferences

As this record of BC elections since 1903 shows, in almost every election from 1952 to 2005, voters on the right were a genuine majority. There’s no evidence to suggest that the current preferences of BC voters are now fixed “indefinitely”.

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