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

StarMetro Vancouver - - NEWS - PER­RIN GRAUER Re­ac­tions and more at thes­tar.com/van­cou­ver

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.

PER­RIN GRAUER/STARMETRO VAN­COU­VER

Vol­un­teers with the Vote PR BC cam­paign chat with res­i­dents out­side the Com­mer­cial­broad­way Skytrain sta­tion on Sun­day.

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