There’s a lot of information surrounding Proportional Representation and much of it can be confusing. Here are two key points:
- With First Past the Post (our current system), it’s possible for a party with 40% of the votes to form government.
- With Proportional Representation (the proposed new system), the percentage of votes for a political party should result in that same percentage of representation by that party.
Pledge your support for Proportional Representation on the BC Referendum Vote Pledge page.
BC Voting Systems Information
First Past The Post
This is the current voting system in British Columbia. It is a system in which the candidate who gets the most votes in an electoral district wins and represents that district in the legislature as its Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). Each electoral district elects one MLA. The phrase “first past the post” comes from horse racing. In the case of elections, the winning candidate is the one who places first among all candidates in the electoral district.
The benefits of the First Past the Post system is that it’s easy to understand.
Here’s an example of how this can go wrong:
If there 5 candidates in a tight race running for one position, with our current system it’s possible for a candidate with 21% of the vote to be elected to represent 100% of the people in that electoral district.
People should be represented in proportion to how they voted.
The percentage of seats a party has in the legislature should reflect the percentage of people who voted for them.
With made-for-BC proportional representation, almost every vote will count towards the make-up of the legislature. Almost every voter will help elect an MLA who shares their values. All regions of BC will have representation in both government and the opposition.
A single party will no longer be able to attain a majority government with just 40% of the vote, and cooperation and compromise will become the norm.
There are several different ways proportional systems can be designed.
Fair Vote Canada BC and Fair Voting BC believe it is very important that the proportional systems BC voters choose from in the 2018 referendum are “made-for-BC” designs – maintaining strong local and regional representation, and ensuring MLAs are elected by the voters, not chosen by the parties.
What Can You Do?
- If you need more information to make an informed decision, please take a look at the How We Vote page on the BC government’s website.
- Complete a questionnaire before February 28, 2018 to help shape the referendum. If you’d like to view the questionnaire before you begin, so you can make informed decisions, you can do so on this page.
- Pledge your support for Proportional Representation on the BC Referendum Vote Pledge page.
- Visit the Fair Vote page for British Columbia.
- There’s contact information for efforts in location around BC. Choose a contact person near you and see how you can help.
- Donations are always welcome to help with the costs of helping BC a better place to live for all of us.
- Fair Voting BC Website: https://fairvotingbc.com/
- Fair Vote Canada Website: http://www.fairvote.ca/
- How We Vote Page: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/howwevote/
- BC Referendum Vote Pledge: https://secure.fairvote.ca/en/bc-referendum-vote-pledge
- The Electoral Knowledge Network Website: http://aceproject.org/