The BC Liberals oppose any change to BC’s electoral system. They suggest that PR is "risky", claiming it will be “unstable” -- due to its tendency to produce coalition governments -- and “unaccountable” -- as “candidates are selected and accountable to their political party” rather than their constituents. They have criticized the referendum for the lack of clear instructions on the ballot and information on the PR systems. Their slogan for the referendum campaign tells voters, “protect our democracy” in voting to keep the current First-Past-the-Post system.
The BC NDP is in favour of proportional representation (PR). In the 2017 election, the BC NDP promised to hold a referendum on changing from First-Past-the-Post to a proportional system for voting that "ensured fair representation for BC’s regions". The NDP’s goal is to replace BC’s “outdated voting system” and place “people at the centre of politics.” The NDP argues that Proportional Representation provides more choices for voters, more accountability, and more collaboration between parties in meeting the needs of the people. On June 22, 2018, the government released the regulations governing the referendum.
The BC Green Party is in favour of proportional representation. The issue was prominent in their 2017 campaign platform. They specifically promised to change BC’s electoral system to a proportional representation system by the next Provincial Election in 2021. As a smaller party, the BC Green party is often underrepresented under the current system, First Past the Post (FPTP), making proportional representation one of their most important issues.
Electoral reform was an important factor for the BC Green Party in forming government with the BC NDP, as proportional representation was one of the major conditions for the Green Party to agree to the coalition. The Green Party platform did not include holding a referendum, but they agreed to it as a compromise because the NDP party promised one prior to making any electoral changes. Proportional representation and details on a referendum are detailed and agreed upon in the 2017 Confidence and Supply Agreement between the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrats.
“2017 Confidence and Supply Agreement between the BC Green Caucus and the BC New Democrat Caucus.” BC NDP Caucus. 2017.
BC Green Party. “Democratic Integrity: Electoral Reform.” 2017 Electoral Platform.
BC Green Party. “Why are we having this referendum?” ProRep FAq.
Hunter, Justine. “ BC Green Party Eyes Long-Term Deal in Pursuit of Electoral Reform.” The Globe and Mail. 25 May 2017.Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. “Current Party Standings.”
The following is a spreadsheet showing each MLA in BC with their positions on electoral reform.
Find an MLA by using ctrl-F (Win) or command-F (Mac) to search the page for the name of the MLA or the riding.
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