Vancouver – Proportional representation advocates representing 750,000 British Columbians are ready to hit the ground running when B.C.’s referendum campaign on updating the province’s voting system officially gets underway on July 1, says Vote PR BC spokesperson Maria Dobrinskaya.
“With the official launch of the referendum campaign on July 1, B.C. now has an opportunity to choose proportional representation – or Pro Rep – and move to a new way of voting where every vote counts,” says Dobrinskaya. “After talking to folks from Fort St. John to Castlegar, from Chilliwack to Campbell River, we’re hearing a strong desire across our province for a fairer voting system that truly represents the people.”
“For over 70 years, our voting system has worked for insiders and those who know how to use the system the best – those who have been in power the most,” says Dobrinskaya. “With Pro Rep, a party that gets 30 per cent of the votes gets 30 per cent of the seats in the Legislature. Get what you vote for. It’s that simple.”
“Since launching Vote PR BC in March, tens of thousands of British Columbians have signed up in support of our campaign to make voting more fair for everyone,” says Dobrinskaya. “Starting next week, Vote PR BC volunteers will be getting out there, talking to their neighbours about joining Scotland, Wales, New Zealand and the majority of Western democracies that have adopted a more fair system – one that puts people first.”
“This fall’s referendum gives us the chance to vote for a better way of electing governments,” says Vote PR BC campaign chair Antony Hodgson. “In the first question, people will get to choose whether they want to replace the status quo with Pro Rep.”
“In the second question, voters can choose which kind of Pro Rep system we want,” says Hodgson. “All three made-in-B.C. options will provide British Columbians with a better system than the status quo. Plus, voters will also have a chance to keep Pro Rep or return to the old voting system after two elections.“
The referendum will be conducted by Elections BC. Voters will have an opportunity to cast their ballots by mail between October 22 and November 30, and must be 18 years of age, Canadian citizens and residents of B.C. for at least six months prior to November 30.
Vote PR BC is a coalition of nearly 30 organizations representing over 750,000 people who support the move to Pro Rep, a new way of voting where every vote counts. For more information on Vote PR and our campaign for change, visit voteprbc.ca/get-informed.