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Electoral reform vote should have two questions: attorney general

Last Updated May 30, 2018 at 11:46 am PDT

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VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – We’re learning more about what this fall’s mail-in ballot on whether or not to change our voting system will look like.

The attorney general now says you should be asked two questions; do you want to make a change to how we elect our politicians? And if you do want an adjustment, what’s your preferred alternative?

“I have every confidence in the people of BC to be able to make their own decisions about how they send people to [the legislature],” says Attorney General David Eby. “And I have every confidence in Elections BC to be able to provide them the necessary information to be able to do that in a neutral and impartial way.”

The questions form part of report that was put together based on a public engagement that ran for 14 weeks.

According to the province, there were 180,000 visits to the “How We Vote” page. More than 90,000 questionnaires are said to have been submitted.

“British Columbians made their voices and their values heard, and it was important we gave them the opportunity to direct how this referendum should work,” Eby says. “This input has provided us a firm footing for the recommendations I am putting forward to cabinet.”

18 total recommendations are made in the report.

Eby is also suggesting the province provide equal funding to groups which will campaign both for and against a change to the voting system.

‘Stacking the deck in a rigged game’

The announcement has already drawn strict criticism from the official opposition.

BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson claims Premier John Horgan has gone against and broken a promise to put forward a simple ‘yes or no’ question.

“Today’s announcement just continues Premier John Horgan’s campaign to stack the deck in a rigged game to favour his desired outcome of this NDP referendum,” Wilkinson says in a statement. “Attorney General David Eby has created a confusing series of questions in an intentional effort to rig the results of the referendum.”

He adds Horgan has also abandoned a promise of an all-party committee to head up the consultation with British Columbians.

“I am confident that British Columbians do not want their democratic rights altered by crass, political self-interest. Once again, this is a stacked deck in a rigged game and our future is too important to let John Horgan’s political ambition take over the integrity of our democratic system.”