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NDP and Greens announce proportional representation working group

NDP MLA Bob D'Eith and BC Green MLA Sonia Purstenau at this morning's press conference. Supplied photo
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VICTORIA, B.C. The B.C. NDP and Green caucuses announced today that they have formed a working group on proportional representation, led by New Democrat MLA Bob D’Eith and Green Party MLA Sonia Furstenau.

The working group will engage B.C. resident on to move to a new electoral system where they say every vote will count. The two parties are also encouraging residents and organizations to participate in the government’s How We Vote online engagement process to help shape next year’s provincial referendum on electoral reform.

The group will also work with their respective caucus colleagues, experts and advocates of democratic reform and will be making a submission to the Attorney General. This submission will be made public once it is finalized.

“My kids and their friends tell me that right now, they don’t see the point in voting, that they feel that their vote won’t count,” said D’Eith “When a government gets less than half of the votes, but holds 100 percent of the power, I can see why they feel that way. “This isn’t about partisan politics, this is about making everyone’s vote count.”

Since 1928, there has only been one general election in B.C. where a single party received over half the vote. That was in 2001 when the BC Liberals first came to power after finishing with 57.6 percent of the vote, and 77 out of 97 seats in the Legislature. Under a proportional system, the two parties say that the number of seats in the legislature would be proportional to a given party’s share of the vote.

“Our Parties don’t agree on everything. However, one of our shared values is an inclusive democracy,” said Furstenau. “This working group isn’t about partisan politics – it’s about two parties coming together to engage the public, experts and each other to produce an evidence-based submission to the Attorney General’s process. I look forward to working with Bob to engage British Columbians on this important discussion about the future of our democracy.”

“Both the New Democrat and B.C. Green caucuses agree that our voting system needs to be more fair and equitable. We’re looking forward to campaigning together,” said D’Eith.

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