COLUMNS: The fine print of proportional representation

It may come as a surprise to many that we are now in the third month of the official campaign

It may come as a surprise to many that we are now in the third month of the official campaign leading up to the fall referendum on proportional representation.

If you are one of those who does indeed feel a bit blindsided by a blatant attempt to tip election rules in favour of the NDP and Green Party, I can assure you that you are not alone.

In an unusual and rather suspect process, Premier John Horgan ordered Attorney General David Eby to devise a plan to change the way we elect a government in this province.

READ MORE: Liberals hosting barbecue to discuss proportional representation

Rather than pose a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, Eby’s referendum reads very much like a done deal. Voters will be asked if our current system is inadequate and should we instead adopt anyone of the following three models of proportional representation: dual member proportional, mixed member proportional or rural urban proportional?

It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the difference between these three highly complicated formulas. That’s because the government is going to take the results of the referendum and design a new system on their own anyway.

How is this possible? Eby has not set a minimum threshold for voter participation. So even if less than ten per cent of eligible voters in B.C. choose to mail in their ballot on November 30th, that’s okay by government standards. The NDP and the Green Party want to avoid the embarrassment the premier of Prince Edward Island experienced in 2016 when their referendum passed, but too few people took part to make it legitimate. But all this may not matter because Eby isn’t mentioning the very fine print. If the Green Party fails to vote in support the NDP minority government any time before the next general election set for 2021, the referendum becomes null and void.

READ MORE: Proportional representation means more B.C. parties, coalitions

In other words, the Green Party is being led by a carrot on a stick. I wonder if voters will approve of this state of affairs come November?

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.



sports@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

QRRC open house this Saturday

Researchers from various universities will share their findings on investigations into the impacts of the 2014 Mount Polley Mine spill into Quesnel Lake.

UPDATE: Father and 9-year-old son killed in crash north of Williams Lake

RCMP confirm family of five hit by southbound pickup truck that crossed the centre line

New Year’s Day robbery and stabbing suspect to stand trial this week

Prolific offender Blake Johnny in Williams Lake Supreme Court

COLUMNS: All for a good cause

Didn’t get to see the chicken herders in action at the Stampede Grounds recently

West Fraser works with BC Wildfire Service, harvests 2017 burned timber

National Forest Week is a time to celebrate our forestry heritage and highlight our stewardship of the forests that supports our communities

VIDEO: Sandhill Cranes in abundance along Highway 97 south of Quesnel

Fall migration for Sandhill Cranes is underway

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: a close-up look at what you were breathing during the wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

Premier John Horgan ponders debate on voting system changes

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson wants one-on-one, no Green

Saganash drops F-bomb in Commons over federal approach to Trans Mountain

NDP’s reconciliation critic accused federal government of ‘wilfully’ violating constitutional duties

VIDEO: B.C. dairy farmer says Trump doesn’t understand the industry

‘They need supply management just as bad as we need to keep it’: sixth generation farmer Devan Toop

Most Read