Referendum media coverage

The Media Monitoring group at UvoteBC is creating a compilation of the coverage on the referendum. As we do this, we gather and catalogue the claims being made on all sides of the debate. That feeds into the Critical Analysis of the Arguments pages on our site.

‘That’s a wrap’: Electoral referendum ends with proportional representation tied with status quo, poll finds
David P. Ball reflects on B.C.'s most recent Electoral Reform process as the deadline to submit ballots passed. Ball discusses the voter turnout and a recent poll suggesting the results will be very close. He also summarizes the reactions of both sides as BC Liberal leader  Andrew Wilkinson continued to question the  legitimacy of the referendum.

The Star Vancouver, David P. Ball. Dec 7, 2018

What the Latest Polling Statistics Tell us About B.C.’s Electoral Referendum
This article BC Business article is an analysis of the current voter turnout. It compares high voter turnout in the 2015 election to the current voter turnout of the referendum, analysis the party preferences of the areas to make education stipulations as to the current votes in the referendum.

BC Business.  Nov 27, 2018

Caroline Elliott: Research Shows PR Benefits Overstated, Anti-immigration Parties Thrive
In a response to a previous column published by Douglas Todd, Caroline Elliott responds with a pro-FPTP argument. She uses specific cases which share key similarities with BC to illustrate her points.

Vancouver Sun, Caroline Elliott. Nov 23, 2018.

Dennis Pilon: B.C.’s voting system referendum—the politics of choosing
In his opinion piece, York professor, Dennis Pilon, argues switching from FPTP to any PR system will make BC more democratic and significantly shift influence from traditional power brokers to average voters. The article also discusses what the different parties in BC have to gain or lose in the referendum. Beyond the Greens being largely underepresented under FPTP, Pilon notes that while the BC liberals have bennefitted largely from the current system, more competition from the Greens has made it harder for the NDP to win under FPTP.

The Georgia Straight, 23 Nov, 2018. Dennis Pilon

Voting Period for Electoral Reform Referendum Extended Due to Postal Strike
Breaking The BC Referendum deadline has been extended from Nov 30 to Dec 7. More details inside!  

CBC, Nov 23, 2018.

Dead Heat in B.C. Referendum on Proportional Representation: Poll
This quick story displays a recent poll about British Columbian's views towards the voting systems being voted on. The piece also contains a video debate with Maria Dobrinskaya from Vote PR BC, and Bill Tieleman from the No Proportional Representation Society of BC, over the pros and cons of Proportionate Representation.

Vancouver Sun, 20 Nov, 2018.  Gordon Hoekstra.

Haven’t Voted in the Electoral Reform Referendum Yet? You May Get More Time
This CBC piece briefly explores the potential of the referendum deadline to be extended. It discusses the current postal strike, and the approaching deadline.

CBC, 22 Nov, 2018.  Mathew Low

UBC Student Bridges Language Gap to Boost South Asian Votes in Electoral Reform Referendum
A short CBC article and 10 minute radio segment about a UBC graduate who reached out to South Asian communities in the Okanagan to educate others on the referendum. The piece discusses some aspects of the referendum which may impact accessibility, such as language.

CBC, 22 Nov, 2018.  Clare Hennig.

Elections BC Urges Voters to Mail Referendum Ballots This Week as Canada Post Strikes Continue
A quick CBC piece urging voters to cast their ballots as the close of the referendum nears. Of importance is the ongoing postal strike and the perceived low voter turnout.  

CBC, 19 Nov, 2018.  Clare Henning.

Turnout takes jump in referendum on voting system
Times Colonist reports on the upswing in reported voter turnout for the BC Referendum. Later the article brings in various voices, including No leader Bill Tieleman, and University of British Columbia Professor Max Cameron  

Times Colonist, 16 Nov, 2018.  Katie DeRosa

Vancouver man’s homemade videos help explain #ProRep debate to B.C. voters
The Star reports on a British Columbian's recently viral videos, in which he blurs education and entertainment in informative pieces on the electoral referendum.  The videos examine the different PR systems, but definitely have a bias for RUP.

The Star, 18 Nov, 2018.  Dirk Meissner.

Election calendar looms over B.C. referendum
This article explores the foundations of the BC referendum, tracing back to the original agreement between the BC NDP and the BC Greens which ended 16 years of BC Liberal rule.

Globe and Mail, 11 Nov, 2018.  Jonathan Hayward

Lack of public response threatens B.C. referendum credibility
In this quick piece Tom Fletcher of the Terrace Standard brings to attention the low response ratings of the BC referendum. He also explores recent polling data, which reveals a near tie among British Columbians, but pro FPTP sentiments among those who've already returned their voting packages.

Terrace Standard, 12 Nov, 2018. Tom Fletcher

David Suzuki: Proportional representation’s diversity of views will lead to better policies
In his opinion piece, environmental activist David Suzuki argues that FPTP fails to reflect the diverse communities, values, and political perspectives in B.C. Suzuki suggests that by shifting away from a two or three party system a switch to PR would encourage the kind of discussion and debate that he deems necessary for good policy.

Vancouver Sun, David Suzuki. 9 Nov, 2018

Wealthy Urban Elites are Bankrolling the Opposition to Electoral Reform in BC
This opinionated article highlights the exclusive makeup of donors to the No PR side of the BC referendum.  The author points out that this may indicate the often rural focus of anti reform rhetoric may not be the entire picture.

Press Progress, Staff Writer.  1 Nov, 2018.

Are you ‘woke’ enough to make sense of John Horgan’s ‘lit’ quip?
If you're young and hip apparently that means you know PR is lit.  Do you have to be woke to know whats lit?  Outlook cloudy.  

CBC, Alex Migdal, 9 Nov 2018

BC’s PR Ballot Designed With Local Representation In Mind
This slightly opinionated article by Kristin Eberhard acts to counter arguments that assert Proportional Representation systems will deprive British Columbians of local representation. In doing so she outlines each system with helpful projections as to how ridings may be altered depending on certain systems are selected. This provides a helpful explanation for those who are unsure of how the change will affect their proximity and connection with their MLA.  

Sightline Institute, Kristin Eberhard.  9 Oct, 2018

Editorial: Vote ‘No’ in NDP’s badly flawed electoral reform referendum
In this opinion piece, The Vancouver Sun editorial board puts forward a plea for British Columbians to vote no. They cite the lack of consultation and partisanship in the referendum process, stating that it provides voters with an unclear vision on how changes will occur.

Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Sun Editorial Board. 29 Oct, 2018

Anti proportional representation side defends ad that uses goose-stepping soldiers
With the rhetoric of both the yes and no PR sides ramping up this piece takes a critical lens to the realities of the referendum and the scare tactics being used.

Vancouver Sun, Gordon Hoekstra. 28 Oct, 2018

Everything you need to know about the upcoming BC referendum on electoral reform
This useful referendum explainer is a great quick read to break down the systems. It is a helpful piece to use to come to a critical decsion about what choices on the ballot work best for you.

The Ubyssey, Moira Wyton.  17 Oct, 2018

Referendum is what it is, just deal with it.
The Province columnist Mike Smyth addresses groups demanding the BC Proportional Representation referendum be halted.  He suggests the referendum will not be postponed, and that the public should instead focus on getting informed and casting their ballots rather than dwell over the process.

The Province, Mike Smyth. 4 Oct, 2018

The Business proposition for Proportional Representation
A brief analysis of the pros and cons of PR for the business community in BC. Among other things, discusses how less majority governments may cause governments to struggle to get things done without a strong mandate. On the other side, mentions PR could put an end to "seismic shifts" that occur in FPTP and negatively impact businesses.

Business Vancouver, Nelson Bennett. 20 Sept, 2018

Andrew Coyne: Any option is better than the status quo
In this opinionated article Andrew Coyne discusses some problems which have plagued the referendum developed by the NDP government, but goes on to argue that any of the PR options are better than the status quo.  He briefly summarizes the 3 systems, and argues his favourite - rural urban proportional - would be BC’s best option.

National Post, Andrew Coyne.  29 Oct, 2018

First Past the Post vs. Proportional Representation: B.C.’s Referendum Explained
A brief look at the core differences between First Past the Post and Proportional Representation by the CBC's Justin McElroy covering the most basic tenants of each.

CBC, Justin McElroy.  5 Nov, 2018

Examining B.C.’s ballots on electoral reform with Keith Baldrey
Legislative Bureau Chief Keith Baldrey looks to clear up some of the rhetoric that has been thrown around by both sides of the debate on electoral reform in BC.  He also evaluates some of the pros and cons of both the current system and Proportional Representation.

Global News, Keith Baldrey, 2 Nov, 2018

The Great Canadian Club Electoral Reform Debate.
Moderated by the hosts of podcast Politicoast, this debate between Seth Klein (supporting PR) and Suzanne Anton (supporting the current system, FPTP) is a one hour long podcast that showcases comprehensive arguments from both sides. The debate remains civil and is worth listening to, especially for undecided voters.

Politicoast Podcast, 23 October, 2018

Cash contributors to B.C.’s electoral reform referendum highlight partisan nature of fight
This piece takes a closer look at contributions that have been made to both the yes and no campaigns, highlighting just how far the partisan lines have been drawn.  

The Vancouver Sun, Gordon Hoekstra.  30 Oct, 2018

Proportional Representation debate off to a sad, misleading start
This piece highlights the bias prevalent on both sides of the referendum debate, showcasing the flaws of both the Yes and No campaigns.  

The Vancouver Sun, Rob Shaw.  30 Oct, 2018

Slippery slope or scare story? 2 sides of the debate on proportional representation ballot in B.C.
This article looks at key issues that are being fought over by both sides. With files included from CBC's The Early Edition (we recommend listening) from former Premier Ujjal Dosanjh and journalist Andrew Coyne.

CBC, Clare Hennig.  Oct 28, 2018

B.C. politicians hit the streets to talk proportional representation
This article highlights the gaps in knowledge that exist within those promoting and campaigning. These issues of incomplete understanding highlight the complexity of the referendum to all parties.

CBC, Maryse Zeidler.  27 Oct, 2018

Proportional Representation vs. First Past the Post
The Province breaks down some of the highlights from their debate on BC's referendum on electoral reform and provides a further link to the full debate. The debate features Maria Dobrinskaya of Vote PR and Bill Tieleman of the No Proportional Representation society of BC.

The Vancouver Sun, Bill Tieleman & Maria Dobrinskaya.  22 Oct, 2018

Electoral reform ballots in mail, Elections BC monitors rotating postal strikes
The Chief Electoral Officer suggests that at this time the labour dispute at Canada Post should not impact the mail in Referendum but will continue to monitor the situation.

Prince George Citizen, Staff Writer.  22 Oct, 2018

Andrew Coyne: New Brunswick provides more ammunition for blowing up first past the post

In his editorial Andrew Coyne argues there has been a loss of stability in FPTP as Canada moves away from a two-party system. He explores how PR coalition governments are different than minority governments in FPTP.

National Post, Andrew Coyne. 26 Sept, 2018

Voting options: Dual member proportional
Based in PEI, this article explains the details of Dual Member Proportional and its use in the context of the PEI electoral system.

CBC, Kerry Campbell.  20 Oct, 2016

B.C. residents evenly split 3 ways over electoral reform: Angus Reid poll
This article contains a helpful breakdown of the three types of proposed Proportional Representation voting systems.      

CBC, Staff Writer.  28 Sept, 2018

First-Past-the-Post: Is It Working for You?
Part 2 of the Tyee series on the PR election (we have included part 1 in the media monitoring spreadsheet). Looks at the effects that First Past the Post has had on BC in past elections.

The Tyee, Andrew Seal.  9 Oct, 2018


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