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)

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.

BC legislatureProportional representation

Just Posted

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Tourists are being asked to postpone their non-essential trips to Tofino as COVID-19 cases rise across Vancouver Island, but at least one accommodation provider is offering conflicting messaging. (Westerly file photo)
Victoria woman says Tofino Airbnb host encouraged travel despite provincial restrictions

“The only way I would get a refund is if she would be able to rebook the suite for that weekend.”

Randy Brown, owner of Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue, has five trailers and a motorhome at the back of his property that he is renting to people who had been previously homeless. He wants to put 15 trailers on his property, hooked up to city sewer and water and BC Hydro. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Another ‘deplorable’ Port Alberni property slapped with remediation order

Wintergreen Apartments and the impromptu trailer park in its grounds attract city attention

A Nanaimo driver was sentenced Monday for fatally striking a high school student with his vehicle in 2019. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo driver sentenced after motor vehicle incident that killed teen last year

Brandon Geoffrey Murdoch fined and prohibited from driving for two years

Nikita, a four-year-old German Shepherd that was attacked by a buck in a backyard in Esquimalt Sunday is lucky the injury wasn't more severe. (Photo contributed by Suzette Goldsworthy)
Esquimalt dog owner issues alert after deer injures German shepherd

Nikita needed stitches after an early morning encounter

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Alberni man gets four years for multiple sex assault charges

Colin Robert Hall was found guilty in the Port Alberni Law Courts

The suspect is described as approximately 20-25 years old, between 5’3 to 5’4, with dark hair. He was wearing black Adidas pants, white shoes, and a puffy grey jacket. Photo supplied
Suspected sought in attempted robbery in Courtenay

Investigators from the Comox Valley RCMP Major Crime Unit investigating

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

Victoria police are asking for help locating Jordan Doddridge who is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
VicPD seek help locating man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Jordan Doddridge has an extensive criminal history including violent offences

Most Read