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Seth Klein @SethDKlein
, 19 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
All the complaints about lack of information and clarity on the #ProRep referendum options are a distraction, aimed to sow doubt by the No side. The tactic is proving somewhat effective, but it is mischief. This thread seeks to outline why. #pr4bc #bcpoli
There is a plethora of good information & resources on the 3 reform options from Elections BC (in 14 languages) and from many other sources. We have created a webpage that serves as a helpful portal to many of them:
The No side seems to be simultaneously complaining that there isn’t enough consultation yet that there are too many choices on the ballot. Isn’t it good that we the voters are empowered to indicate our preferences for which type of #ProRep we most like?
There was a robust public consultation process, in which over 80k people engaged. The Attorney General then took that input into account when designing the referendum ballot questions.
Because the AG heard no clear consensus about which form of pro rep people prefer, he decided to present 3 reform options for our consideration. We the public get to weigh in on which model we prefer, and our choice will determine the outcome.
But the AG did hear clearly that local representation is important to BCers, and that no region wanted to lose MLAs. Given this, he specifically chose 3 PR options designed to preserve local representation & all of which ensure no region would have fewer MLAs than they do now.
As a result, all 3 models on ballot are innovative “made-in-BC” pro rep systems designed to meet the unique needs & geography of BC. This should be lauded, not criticized for being new. And under all 3 models, every MLA will be accountable to either a local riding or a region.
In the Wilkinson-Horgan #ProRep debate, we saw Wilkinson continually badger the Premier about how many votes people would have if we switch to PR. But he knows full well that the answer is “it depends on which model BCers choose”…
Under Dual Member, we get one local vote; under Mixed Member, we most likely get 2 votes; under Rural-Urban, most of us in urban settings get to rank as many local candidates as we want.
True, there are some details TBD for each model on the ballot. But there are really only 2 substantive issues to determine after the vote (should BCers chose in question 1 to switch to pro rep)...
The first issue is the boundaries for new ridings, which would be determined by the independent Electoral Boundaries Commission, using a public consultation process that would take some time.
The 2nd issue, TBD by an all-party committee w/ public hearings, is whether under Mixed Member the ranking of candidates on regional party lists will be party-ordered (known as “closed list”) or voter-ordered (aka “open list”).
But given that all major party leaders are now on record supporting open list, it seems fairly certain the outcome would be open list. Virtually all pro rep advocates also favour open list. So it would be voters who select all their candidates.
All told, what part of this voter empowerment is the No side objecting to? There was no legal requirement to have a referendum at all, let alone a second question that lets us decide which form of pro rep we want. WE get to choose.
Some people seem upset that STV (recommended by the Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform) isn’t on the ballot. But for most of us, it is. For the vast majority of us who live in cities and suburbs, STV is the system we would use under the Rural-Urban option. But…
Rural-Urban fixes what was a short-coming of STV, namely that it didn’t work well 4 rural BC, as ridings would be too geographically large. Under RU, rural voters use Mixed Member, so ridings would only need to increase in size by 2/3 (still smaller than federal ridings today).
Regardless of how you choose to rank the #ProRep models, the following is true for all of them:
Best of all, the AG has embedded in law a commitment that, should we vote to change to pro rep, there will be a 2nd “confirmation referendum” after 2 election cycles. So we get to road-test a new system. If we don’t like it, we can vote to switch back to FPTP.
But BTW, no country in the world that I am aware of has ever chosen to switch back to FPTP. The evolution of democracy seems to be uni-directional towards #ProRep
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