THE New Democrat and B.C. Green caucuses announced on Wednesday that they have formed a working group on proportional representation, led by NDP MLA Bob D’Eith (Maple Ridge-Mission) and B.C. Green MLA Sonia Furstenau (Cowichan Valley).
“My kids and their friends tell me that right now, they don’t see the point in voting, that they feel that their vote won’t count. When a government gets less than half of the votes, but holds 100 per cent of the power, I can see why they feel that way,” said D’Eith. “This isn’t about partisan politics, this is about making everyone’s vote count.”
The working group will engage British Columbians on how we can strengthen our democracy and move to a system where every vote counts, and encourage people and organizations to participate in the government’s How We Vote engagement process to help shape next year’s provincial referendum on electoral reform.
The group will also work with their respective caucus colleagues, experts and advocates of democratic reform and will be making a submission to the Attorney General. This submission will be made public once it is finalized.
“Our parties don’t agree on everything. However, one of our shared values is an inclusive democracy,” said Furstenau. “This working group isn’t about partisan politics – it’s about two parties coming together to engage the public, experts and each other to produce an evidence-based submission to the Attorney General’s process. I look forward to working with Bob to engage British Columbians on this important discussion about the future of our democracy.”
Since 1928, there has only been one general election in B.C. where a single party received over half the vote. Under a proportional system, the number of seats in the legislature would be proportional to a party’s share of the vote. Everyone’s vote would count.
“Both the New Democrat and B.C. Green caucuses agree that our voting system needs to be more fair and equitable. We’re looking forward to campaigning together,” said D’Eith.