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Critics question input given ahead of BC's electoral reform referendum

(Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Province says about 11,000 people have added their two cents to upcoming referendum

'No' side isn't sure the government is touting the right numbers ahead of electoral reform vote

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Thousands of people are giving their feedback on an upcoming electoral reform referendum in BC. However, the leaders of the “No” campaign think the feedback may be skewed.

Attorney General David Eby says he has received input from 11,000 people who have filled out an online questionnaire and have heard a couple of things people want before the referendum.

“Spending limits for third-parties that may be attempting to influence votes, disclosure around who’s funding those third-parties and, in addition, the opportunity for British Columbians — potentially — to revisit a new system in two election cycles. We have also heard about the importance of rural representation. I take these concerns very seriously and encourage the opposition and all others with similar concerns to participate in this engagement process.”

Other topics include how the referendum ballot should be designed and the question(s) that should be on it. “This is another step government is taking to give people the power to shape our democracy,” adds Eby.

But the “No” campaign says 11,000 is not a lot of people and believe advocates for proportional representation are over-represented in a “self-selecting” group.

Previously, Premier John Horgan stated this referendum would likely be BC’s last attempt for electoral reform.

The public consultation by the provincial government over the pending referendum wraps up at the end of February. The mail-in vote, with a Nov. 30 deadline, needs a 50-per-cent-plus-one margin of support for it to be successful in time for the next election in 2021.