PREMIER John Horgan on Thursday announced that the cabinet has accepted the recommendations of the Attorney General on how the referendum on a new voting system will take place. Regulations are being prepared and the government will ask Elections BC to review the question, to ensure that the language used is clear and simple to understand.
Horgan said: “Cabinet confirmed that, should a new proportional system be chosen, a second referendum will be held following two election cycles, to give British Columbians the opportunity to decide whether they wish to keep the new voting system.
“We would like to thank the more than 90,000 people that took part in the consultation process, and all British Columbians as they take part in this important discussion leading up to the referendum.
“This is an historic opportunity to replace our old voting system with a new way of voting that works for people. We look forward to public debate and lively campaigns on both sides. Ultimately, the people will decide.”
B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson reacting to the announcement, saying in a statement: “Today, Premier John Horgan confirmed the inevitable, rubber-stamping Attorney General David Eby’s recommendations on the proportional representation referendum.
“This entire process has been flawed and rushed from start to finish. The Premier broke his promise for a simple ‘yes or no’ question; the Attorney General is not a neutral arbiter; and communities in every corner of the province won’t have any clarity on how their ridings will be impacted because new maps will not be drawn.
“The alternatives to First Past the Post are convoluted and confusing, with two options that have never been used and a third that was already rejected in two previous referenda.
“In a bid to custom-build an electoral system specifically designed to keep them in power, the unstable NDP-Green coalition has dealt British Columbians a stacked deck in a rigged game.”