November 9, 2018

Maria Dobrinskaya & Simka Marshall on Electoral Reform

In this episode, editor-in-chief Gordon Price opens with an audio op-ed, on how Vancouver’s #CouncilSoWhite may not be as telling as we think. The main segment features Price Tags managing editor Colin Stein talking to Maria Dobrinskaya, BC Director of the Broadbent Institute, and Simka Marshall of the BC Federation of Students, on electoral reform in the province…and why Pro Rep is LIT.

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Ready for another protracted saga of political gutter-sniping? Step back, YIMBY-NIMBY housing types, you just had your fun.

It’s time to fix the way votes are cast and counted in this province. (And no, you don’t have time to chug a Red Bull.)

Although the campaign period for the 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform began way back on Canada Day — and the online debate has been both fulsome and animated — it was also largely outshouted by the municipal election campaigns.

No more. Today, Elections BC is mailing ballots to all BC residents of voting age and six months’ residency, with a closing date of November 30th on the question of preference — stick to First Past the Post as our voting system, or switch to one of three models of Proportional Representation?

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Trust The Tyee to get a political scientist to help British Columbians understand what proportional representation is, and what the three voting system choices are, via this snappy YouTube video.

The video, produced by Christopher Cheung, features Megan Dias clearly explaining the three proportional representation voting options for the province, as proposed by Attorney General David Eby.

A ballot will be mailed out for voters to rank the three different models, during this fall’s referendum period, which runs October 22-November 20, just after the civic elections across the province. One such model may end up replacing the “first past the post” system currently in place.

Those three models are mixed-member proportional, rural-urban proportion, and dual-member proportional. To learn more about them, take a look at the video below.

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Helen Clark was Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008), a country that uses a form of proportional representation to elect its politicians.

So what happened? How was it? How bad was the vote-mageddon that we are sure to experience here in BC?

Stephen Quinn at the CBC interviews Ms. Clark, and you can listen HERE. It’s 8:40 in length.

Spoiler alert: She likes it. It worked. Things got done. People seemed to like the absence of “. . . one-party elected dictatorships . . .”, as occur regularly under first-past-the-post systems.

Vote-mageddon was not evident.

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Helen Clark was the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999-2008, during which time proportional representation was the electoral system used for the vote. (It still is.)

She’ll share her experiences in Vancouver on June 25, with Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason.

WHEN: June 25, 2018 at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
WHERE: SFU Segal Building, 500 Granville St, Vancouver

Sign up here.

More information about MMP, including a handy video, follows.

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