Attorney General David Eby’s report to cabinet on the choices in the electoral reform referendum runs to more than 100 pages, including a section on how to decide how the winning system would work. (Black Press)

John Horgan’s referendum choice illustrates B.C. unknowns

Premier doesn’t like candidates chosen by parties in private

Premier John Horgan has voted in favour of the “mixed member” option in the province-wide referendum on proportional representation, and he acknowledges it is not yet known how that would work in B.C.

Of the three options on the ballot, Horgan said he chose the one that is the “most widely used internationally.” As critics of the referendum have pointed out, the other two have never been used anywhere.

A key point of contention is the possibility of “list” candidates being appointed by parties to top up their seats to match their share of the province-wide vote. Lists may be “open,” so voters can choose their favourites, or “closed” so parties can select the winners after the vote.

“We’ve already made it clear we are not reducing the number of members,” Horgan told reporters after he mailed in his ballot last week. “In fact we may have to increase them to ensure that generally we will have more proportional representation. But I don’t support closed lists. I support citizens voting for people and electing them to our legislature.”

Whether that happens is up to an all-party committee to be appointed this month, before the referendum result is known. The NDP and B.C. Greens will have a majority to work out the details if proportional representation is chosen. It would have until next March to figure out how many constituencies there would be, and how many MLAs each would have.

RELATED: Proportional representation means more parties, coalitions

Attorney General David Eby’s recommendations, a 106-page binder released May 30 and adopted word for word by the NDP cabinet, describes the mixed-member option this way:

“As recommended in this report, it meets the principle of local/regional representation by requiring at least 60 per cent of total seats to be from single-member electoral districts (albeit larger ones than currently), and by requiring that the list PR seats are allocated on a regional basis rather than a province-wide basis.”

The two untried options, rural-urban PR and dual-member proportional, aim to preserve local representation in the large, thinly populated rural regions of B.C.

Horgan and B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson are preparing to debate these options Thursday evening at 7 p.m., in a half-hour broadcast on Global and CBC television. Voting is underway, with a deadline of Nov. 30 for mail-in ballots to be received by Elections B.C.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

No home for Agassiz Community Garden on school district land

The garden is still homeless after SD78 said no to the society using the McCaffrey School property

Life rings, signs to improve safety on Harrison waterfront

Harrison council approved $125,000 in aquatic safety projects for the beach

PHOTOS: Harrison students take on the Bunny Run

Harrison Hot Springs Elementary students dressed up for the Easter event

No more mobile vendors on Harrison beach

The approval of an updated business licence bylaw means Nolan Irwin is without a cart

Chilliwack PEO: ‘We who are sisters’

International oganization celebrating 150 years of service

VIDEO: Agassiz, Harrison celebrate National Pet Day

From cats and dogs to lizards and chickens, residents showed off the animals that enrich their lives

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Most Read