Voters in BC have another very important decision to make on whether to reform our electoral system or whether to keep the old, broken system that we have. Ballots for the referendum have been mailed to homes across BC and are due to be returned, in the postage-paid envelope provided, by November 24.
“It’s not often that we can help bring about real, positive change in our daily lives,” said President Ivan Limpright. “Voting for proportional representation in this referendum is a concrete move towards a more fair and democratic BC. It will bring greater representation for rural communities, women and people of colour and our democracy needs that.”
There are two questions on the ballot. The first one is easy: Do you want to change the way we elect political representatives to proportional representation, a more fair and democratic system, or do you want to keep the same system, where parties can win 100% of the power with less than 40% of the vote?
The second question asks you to rank your preferred proportional representation system. You do not have to answer this question to vote YES for ProRep! There are some excellent resources to inform yourself about the referendum and the different electoral systems being voted on.
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – A one stop shop for all things ProRep
- Fair Vote Canada – Tonnes of info + a great FAQ/Mythbuster section
- Elections BC (a non-partisan office of the BC legislature) – Great explainer videos on electoral reform
- BC Referendum Wizard – A quiz that tells you the best voting system for your democratic values and goals
- The Tyee ProRep series – To help you cast an educated vote
There are many reasons why an electoral system based on proportional representation is more fair and democratic. Under proportional representation:
- 30% of the vote = 30% of the seats – Every vote counts!
- Power is shared – No more 40% majorities!
- We can vote for what we believe in – No more strategic voting!
- Parties must be cooperative, accountable and transparent – That’s democratic!
There has been a lot of fearmongering from the No side – mostly paid lobbyists spending a lot of money trying to convince voters to keep the system the same for those who benefit – a small but powerful group. But here are the facts about proportional representation:
- ProRep is successful – 9/10 of the world’s top economies use proportional representation to elect their governments
- ProRep is simple – Voters can mark their first choice; no need to vote strategically
- ProRep is stable – Policies with real majority support are built to last
“We can make meaningful, lasting change just by voting YES to ProRep,” President Limpright said. “We can do this. Working people can make a better BC together. So mail in your ballot today!”