Vancouver - The Broadbent Institute welcomes today’s announcement by the BC government outlining the process for citizen consultation on the upcoming electoral reform referendum. The Institute, Canada’s leading progressive, independent organization, recognizes the historic opportunity facing British Columbians to strengthen democracy through the introduction of a proportional representation system.
“In a time of increasing cynicism in electoral politics, and growing distrust of politicians and political institutions, changing our voting system to one in which every vote counts would be transformative,” said Maria Dobrinskaya, BC Director for the Broadbent Institute. “Our current system is unfair. Improving the way we vote would lead to more representative and responsive government, and better outcomes for all British Columbians.”
A system of proportional representation is based on the straightforward principle that the seats a party has in the Legislature should reflect the percentage of votes cast for that party and that all citizens deserve representation. Proportional voting systems are based on this principle. British Columbia can design or alter a system of proportional representation to meet the unique needs of the province, such as ensuring that voters can elect a local representative in their home riding, and that rural BC is well represented in the Legislature. An Angus Reid poll from September 2017 identified that 65 per cent of British Columbians support adopting a proportional voting system.
The Confidence and Supply Agreement between the BC NDP and the BC Greens highlights the ways in which different parties in the Legislature can work together for the overall benefit of the people of British Columbia. Yesterday’s passage of long-awaited campaign finance reform legislation, supported by BC NDP and BC Green members, advances democratic renewal and demonstrates how good policy can cross partisan lines when parties work together.
Over 90 countries use a proportional voting system, including 85 per cent of OECD countries, such as Germany, New Zealand, Sweden and Denmark. Among the Top 10 countries in The Economist’s Intelligence Union rankings, eight have built proportionality into the voting systems used in their main legislative chambers.
For more information, please contact Maria Dobrinskaya, BC Director, [email protected], 604-657-6160