Proportional Representation (pro rep) is an election system where voters see the results of their
vote reflected in who is chosen to represent them.
That’s what election should be about, right? Every few years members of our community put their
names forward to be considered for a position of power and influence. They are tasked with
using that power and influence on our behalf. If they don’t do the job we want, we choose
someone else after a bit time.
Our current elections aren’t fair.
The leaders chosen aren’t always a reflection of who we want in government. In the last
provincial election, nearly 17 out of every 100 people voted for the BC Green Party, but when all
the votes were counted, it was like 3.5 out of 100 people voted for them.
Pro rep is choosing a better way to select our leaders.
As an Indigenous person, I voted for the first time in the most recent provincial election.
Participating in a colonial Canadian election system can be a profoundly personal and political
choice. Most Indigenous peoples don’t participate in federal, provincial, or municipal elections. I
have come to believe this has more to do with apathy than a firm political conviction.
How would casting a vote for a candidate or a party make a difference in my life, as an
Indigenous person? If you like more government investment in health care, schools, children in-
care, transit, and poverty-reduction, but live in a deeply conservative part of the province, voting
will feel like a waste of time. On top of that, parties are looking to build a coalition of votes in key
ridings to win on election day. That means they often pay very little attention to Indigenous issues
because they aren’t chasing our votes to win.
I care about the future of my people and our communities. Indigenous issues are often
considered the responsibility of the federal government, but the day-to-day lives of Indigenous
peoples are affected by the provincial policies. Catch a bus? Public classrooms with low
resources? Waited in an emergency room for 6 hours? Moved around the Children-in-Care
system? All issues the provincial government is responsible for.
A referendum on electoral reform will take place by mail-in ballot between October 22 and
November 30, 2018. You must be a registered voter with Elections BC to receive a ballot. Indigenous peoples have a chance to fix the electoral system so that if we vote, we see our
wishes reflected in the results. If we had pro-rep, parties would shift to caring about our votes.
They would create powerful platforms on Indigenous issues.
Changing elected leaders every few years can change some things, but changing the way we
choose our leaders will change the quality of leadership we receive.
Let’s change the kind of leadership we see by supporting Pro Rep.