Push to change B.C. voting system hits the streets
Volunteers for Vote PR point to Ontario election to illustrate why system needs to change
Supporters of the proportional representation (PR) voting system hit the streets in Vancouver and around the province on Sunday to talk democracy and raise awareness ahead of B.C.’S electoral referendum in the fall.
Maria Dobrinskaya, spokesperson for the Vote PR BC campaign, said the results from last week’s provincial election in Ontario show that the conversation around PR has never been more timely.
“I think dissatisfaction with our current system is palpable,” she told Starmetro
outside the Commercial broadway Skytrain station. “The example of the election
in Ontario … where the majority of people voted for a different party than the one that
was elected makes the issue real.”
On Thursday, Doug Ford — a populist candidate many have compared to Donald Trump — won Ontario’s provincial election with 40 per cent of the vote.
Proportional representation, Dobrinskaya said, is a system of voting that ensures the number of votes cast is reflected in the number of seats in the legislature. If a party receives 40 per cent of the votes, as Ford’s Conservatives did, it would receive 40 per cent of the seats.
“Our current system distorts that outcome,” she said.
The upcoming mail-in referendum, expected to start this October, will ask British Columbians to decide on whether to keep the current first-past-the-post electoral system, or switch over to one of three PR systems.
Volunteers with the Vote PR BC campaign chat with residents outside the Commercialbroadway Skytrain station on Sunday.