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Undecided on ProRep? A questionnaire may help you

Last Updated Nov 24, 2018 at 9:14 pm PDT

(Source: Sasha Lakic/NEWS 1130)

COURTENAY (NEWS 1130) — Good news if you need help filling out your electoral reform referendum ballot. A questionnaire has been devised to help you with the options.

The online questionnaire is designed to tell you whether you are for the status quo, or whether you are for proportional representation, and if so, which of the three PR options you should be voting for.

James Deith is behind the website. He is a businessman who now lives in Courtenay, but has lived in countries with PR so he says he has a unique perspective on electoral systems.

He says he has no interest in the outcome and points out the questionnaire has spread primarily on Facebook.

“That in turns leads someone who sends you an email. You take it and send it off to other people. That’s really how it’s grown,” he notes.

He says the project has taken off beyond his expectations and according to his numbers, some 110,000 people have taken the survey.

The questionnaire is like a personality test, except the questions allow British Columbians to focus on what they value in an electoral system and how much weight people ascribe to each voting situation.

“When you get those kind of numbers, you’re bound to have some people that take some exceptions to what you have done,” Deith says. “It’s really wonderful to see something like this helping people out and I really hope that it does give people some some assistance in what can be sort of a tricky decision.”

He says the only complaint he has received is from the No side of the referendum, which argues that people who are for the status quo shouldn’t have any PR rankings in their results. But as Deith points out, even people who mark No on their actual ballot still get to mark choices on proportional representation.

As of Friday, Elections BC has extended the voting period for the referendum on proportional representation and will now accept packages until 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7. It comes as a response to the rotating strikes at Canada Post.