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Questions finalized for this fall's referendum on electoral reform

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Summary

Electoral reform advertising rules set ahead of fall referendum

Status quo supporters ahead of this fall's electoral reform referendum feel things are skewed

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Now that details for this fall’s electoral reform have been finalized, supporters of the status quo say the process is still skewed in favour of change.

Former NDP strategist Bill Tieleman says the rules are also confusing for designated “yes” and “no” campaigns who are not allowed to spend more than $200,000 each on advertising.

“Proponent groups have until July 6 to make an application for the $500,000 in public funding for each side, but the campaign period starts July 1, so we’re starting a campaign with no opponent group, no proponent group, no funding and no clear indication where the decision will be made.”

Tieleman adds no riding boundaries have been disclosed yet either.

“How many members of the legislature we would be electing or how any of these systems would work, but the most basic thing is what riding am I going to be in if I vote for this and they can’t tell us that and they won’t be able to tell us that by the time the voting ends either. We’ll let you know afterwards when we see the results and that’s just not good enough.”

The mail-in ballot features two questions — first asking voters to indicate if they want to keep the current first-past-the-post system. Anyone opting to switch to proportional representation must then rank three possible choices.

Voting which starts October 22nd runs through November 30th.

The ballot questions have been amended based on recommendations from the chief electoral officer.

In order to cast a ballot, you must be registered to vote with Elections BC and the official questions are:

1. Which system should British Columbia use for provincial elections? (Vote for only one)

The current first-past-the-post voting system

A proportional representation voting system

2. If British Columbia adopts a proportional representation voting system, which of the following voting systems do you prefer?

Rank in order of preference. You may choose to support one, two or all three systems.

Dual Member Proportional (DMP)

Mixed Member Proportional (MMP)

Rural-Urban Proportional (RUP)