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THE “BC Liberals’ big money friends,” The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, have failed in their attempt to block the upcoming referendum on electoral reform through the courts, the NDP announced in a press statement on Tuesday.
It said: “It’s clear though that [Leader of the Official Opposition] Andrew Wilkinson and the BC Liberals don’t want British Columbians to have their say on whether we should scrap our outdated voting system and make it more fair.’
Wilkinson first claimed the referendum on how we vote is “undemocratic,” and tried to suggest the referendum would “confuse voters,” the NDP said.
A letter from Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman rejected that claim, saying: “I believe that this question is simple and clear enough for voters to understand. They are being offered a distinct choice between the existing voting system and a proportional representation voting system.”
“After that BC Liberal argument fell apart, they supported their big money friends who tried, and failed, to block people through the courts from even voting at all,” the NDP said.
“When their friends, The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, launched their failed court injunction “to halt” the referendum from even happening and to bring big money back into politics, BC Liberals quickly got in line to support the attempt to block people from having their say.
“BC Liberal MLA Mike Morris said it was “great to see the constitutional challenges.” His colleague Dan Davies said, “I’m glad this is being challenged,” and other BC Liberal MLAs such as Doug Clovechuk and Mike Bernier also showed support through social media.
“Andrew Wilkinson also hinted “there’s a possibility of challenges in the courts” when asked if the BC Liberals under his leadership would accept the results of the referendum.”
So why do Wilkinson and the BC Liberals want to stop people from having a say on how we vote?
The NDP noted: “Dianne Watts, who would be the BC Liberal leader if their own party had used the “first-past-the-post” system, let everyone know the real reason when she said: “If we do not defeat this referendum, there will be no majority. There will forever be a minority of BC Liberals.”
“That’s because with less than half of the votes in several elections, the BC Liberals managed to hold 100 per cent of the power for 16 years. They didn’t need to work with anyone, and people paid the price for it as life became less affordable, and important services, like health and education, were cut year after year.”
The NDP went on to slam Wilkinson and the BC Liberals for “looking out for their own best interests,” adding that “They don’t want you to have a say in how we vote, and they want to bring big money back into politics.”
“Today’s ruling put people’s interests over the interests of the BC Liberals and their big money friends,” said New Democrat MLA Ravi Kahlon. “It’s time for Andrew Wilkinson and his friends at the top to stop the shenanigans, and let the people decide on the future of voting in B.C.”