Report on Proportional Representation

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Read the full report from the Attorney General here.

David Eby, Attorney General, has released a report detailing the results of the citizen engagement on electoral reform, which informed his 18 recommendations to cabinet for how the fall 2018 referendum should be structured.

The AG heard record public engagement from over 90,000 British Columbians – more than we’ve ever seen before. This is an historic opportunity to replace our old, outdated and unfair voting system with a new way of voting that works for people.

The report recommends that the referendum ballot include two questions:

1. Which should British Columbia use for elections to the Legislative Assembly (Vote for only one.):

  •  The current First Past the Post voting system
  • A proportional representation voting system

2. If British Columbia adopts a proportional representation voting system, which of the following voting systems do you prefer? (Vote for the voting systems you wish to support by ranking them in order of preference. You may choose to support one, two or all three of the systems.):

  • Dual Member Proportional (DMP)
  • Mixed Member Proportional (MMP)
  • Rural-Urban PR

If a majority of responses to the first question vote to adopt a proportional representation voting system, then responses to the second question would determine which system is implemented in British Columbia.

The report’s key recommendations also include that:

  • The referendum campaign period begin July 1, 2018, and end by Nov. 30, 2018.
  • The referendum voting period (by mail-in ballot) run Oct. 22, 2018, to Nov. 30, 2018.
  • The chief electoral officer, who is independent of government, provide neutral and factual information to voters about the referendum, including voting systems on the ballot.
  • The chief electoral officer select one designated group to advocate on behalf of retaining the current FPTP voting system, and one to advocate on behalf of PR, using a selection process similar to the 2009 referendum on electoral reform.
  • If voters decide to adopt a proportional representation system, a second referendum be held following two general elections, where voters would decide to keep the new system or return to FPTP.

The report describes the three proportional representation systems to be included on the ballot, which correspond to the engagement with British Columbians. If a proportional system is adopted, it must include a set of features, including:

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

Eby presented the report with recommendations to the public, prior to delivering it to cabinet for deliberation.

We’re all going to have a chance to learn lots over the next few months – there’s going to a lively public debate before the referendum.