You rarely see a Hail Mary pass from a Premier.
The head of government is supposed to be in control of his agenda and move in a deliberate manner. But this was not the case on Thursday when John Horgan decided to suddenly change the rules of the referendum at the last moment, again, to try and sway more people to vote for proportional representation.
Horgan announced he was going to order NDP MLAs to exercise a veto over one of the three models of proportional representation (after the results of the referendum are counted). Horgan is talking about the ‘closed list’ process in which political parties select MLAs from a party list under proportional representation, instead of our current system where voters pick their MLA directly.
First of all, Horgan made the announcement after nearly a quarter of a million people had already cast their ballots based on the information they were given at the time. In fact, information that was listed in the voter guide. Secondly, if the issue of closed lists was so important, why didn’t Horgan raise his objection during the televised debate that was held on November 8th? Or when the bill was being developed?
Indeed, this desperate Hail Mary pass to win the hearts of minds of voters at the eleventh hour reveals something more sinister about this referendum. The referendum is no longer about following the will of the people, it is more about the strong arm of the Premier’s office and manipulating the results.
If British Columbians do choose some form of proportional representation, then an all-party committee dominated by NDP and Green Party MLAs will then be asked to work out over two dozen details of what our democracy will look like. This includes the number of MLAs, how political parties will choose who is elected an MLA, how many MLAs will be appointed and what the political map of ridings will look like. All things you should know before you vote!
But if the Premier directs his MLAs to exercise a veto over the whole process, then we know who is actually pulling all the strings.
We are dealing with a stacked deck in a rigged game, that seems to be getting rigged more each day. Please vote to keep our trusted and simple First Past the Post and reject Proportional Representation. We need to ensure that everyone gets out to vote in the final days of this referendum. If you have not received a ballot or lost yours, go today to the Service BC desk and get a new one! You can also drop your ballots there once complete. Let’s protect our democracy!