A look at proposed referendum questions as B.C. considers revamped elections


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VICTORIA — Here are questions Attorney General David Eby has recommended to cabinet for a referendum this fall on British Columbia’s electoral system:

1. Which should British Columbia use for elections to the legislative assembly (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? (Vote for the voting systems you wish to support by ranking them in order of preference. You may choose to support one, two or all three of the systems):

— Dual-member proportional.

— Mixed-member proportional.

— Rural-urban.

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Here is a look at the three systems of proportional representation that have been recommended:

— Dual-member proportional would take most of the province’s existing single-member electoral districts and amalgamate them with a second neighbouring district to create two-member districts. The largest rural districts could remain unchanged as single-member districts. Parties could nominate up to two candidates in each district. They would appear on the ballot in an order determined by the party. The first seats would be won by the first candidates of the party that received the most votes in each electoral district. The  second seats would be allocated based on provincewide voting results and individual district results.

— A mixed-member system would combine single-member electoral districts, where members are elected under first past the post, with seats also allocated on a regional or provincial level and based on a list of candidates running for proportional representation seats prepared by the parties.

— A rural-urban option is also a mixed system that elects members of the legislature two ways. In urban and semi-urban areas, a single transferable vote would be used to rank candidates by preference. In rural areas, single-member electoral districts would elect their representative using the first-past-the-post system, while a small number of proportional representation seats would also be allocated from a list prepared by the parties based on election results.

The Canadian Press


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