Summary of Recommendations

Who We Are

Fair Vote Canada (FVC) is a specialized citizens’ organization promoting electoral reform and proportional representation (PR) in Canada at all levels of government since 2000. It has 36 chapters across the country and 10,000 supporters in BC alone. This submission is put forward by the FVC BC Steering Committee consisting of representatives from each of FVC’s 15 chapters in BC, supported by members of FVC’s national Executive Committee. Our aim is to help ensure a fair referendum in BC, in which citizens are given a clear choice between First-past-the-post (FPTP) and a proportional electoral system based on a clear understanding of the options in front of them.

Principle Recommendations

1. A binding referendum question asking voters for a mandate to modernize our electoral system by bringing in proportional representation;

2. Establishment of clear criteria that any mandated model of PR must satisfy, to be included in the preamble to the mandate question;

3. If the referendum passes, the creation of an independent commission involving citizens, experts and politicians organized and supported by Elections BC, which would be responsible for an expedited process to design a made-in-BC PR system;

4. As a possible complement to the mandate question, the inclusion of a second non-binding question allowing voters to express their preferences on PR models for BC

5. No artificial thresholds beyond what is required under the current BC Referendum Act

6. Careful attention to managing the transition by designing a PR system that avoids unnecessary disruption;

7. A robust public education campaign under the responsibility of Elections BC and a special commissioner for the referendum;

8. A public debate and government leadership that transcends partisan considerations;

9. The creation of one umbrella proponent group and one umbrella opponent group, each of which would be funded by a flat public contribution of $500,000;

10. Allowance for each group to raise $500,000 in additional funds from individual contributors to a maximum of $1200 per person, in line with the spirit of Bill 3;

11. Equal time and space obligations for public debate in the media.