Cabinet accepts recommendations on referendum procedures; Wilkinson calls it ‘rigged game’

John Horgan at The VOICE office.
Photo by Jay Sharma of Mahi Photo Studio

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.”


Andrew Wilkinson

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.”


  1. “Ultimately, the people will decide.” On the contrary, the informed judgment of the BC Citizens Assembly, Single Transferable Vote, has been over-ruled. After a years work of 160 citizens, getting the best out of a 150 years of electoral method evolution, the BC government has contemptuously shunted their study aside, for an untried concoction called rural-urban PR, in which STV has been shackled to the Mixed Member system, itself a hybrid of two systems. Rural-urban PR is like three struggling cats tied in a bag to drown. There is zero chance of this being the publics decision. Indeed, Rural-urban PR is not a decision but an indecision.
    The Dual member system is also untried, allegedly the invention of a student in 2013, it is a second option obviously set to fail.
    We see the reason why when we come to the third so-called PR option, the Mixed Member Proportional system, or politicians PR, to be frank. It’s a case of MMP, take it or leave it, that’s the best you are going to get, namely the worst possible system for power to elect – other than as a party sheep. It denies voters the fundamental democratic right to reject candidates. (Richard report).
    But party list systems of spoils sharing the seats, even tho they effectively destroy any chance of representative democracy, have the great strength of tribal distrust and insecurity, behind them, after hundreds thousands of years petty group fighting for survival.
    Richard Lung:
    Peace-making Power-sharing;
    Scientific Method of Elections;
    Science is Ethics as Electics;
    FAB STV: Four Averages Binomial Single Transferable Vote;
    (editor) The Angels Weep: H. G. Wells on Electoral Reform;
    (in French) Modele Scientifique du Proces Electoral.

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