The status quo remains.
In the closing months of 2018 the province held a referendum on whether or not to change BC’s electoral system, and now results are in: British Columbia is going to maintain first-past-the-post (FPTP).
According to Elections BC, 1,403,358 voting packages were mailed in, representing returns from 42.6% of all eligible BC voters.
Out of these million+ ballots, 61.3% (845,235) supported FPTP while 38.7% (533,518) called for proportional representation (PR).
“This year, British Columbians participated in an important conversation about the future of our democracy,” said premier John Horgan in a release today.
“British Columbians have now spoken and chosen to stick with the current voting system… While many people, myself included, are disappointed in the outcome, we respect people’s decision.”
While the majority of BC voted in favour of FPTP, opinions in the two greater Victoria districts were reversed.
Victoria-Beacon Hill voted 66.35% in favour of PR, while 33.65% supported FPTP and in the Victoria-Swan Lake region, 65.04% called for PR while 34.96% voted for FPTP.
Responses from other communities on the island are mixed, though the average results indicate a slim majority of Vancouver Island residents were in favour of PR.
In support of FPTP
While premier Horgan suggests that the NDP is disappointed with the referendum results, BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson is happy with the opinions of the majority of British Columbians.
“Today we saw the power of democracy as millions of British Columbians sent a clear message to the NDP and Greens that their self-serving referendum was not going to be tolerated,” said Wilkinson in a release today.
“This was a flawed process from the beginning as the NDP stacked the deck to satisfy the Green Party and remain in power… However, to all the British Columbians who voted for a change believing that we need to improve our democracy, we can assure them that they have been heard.”
The referendum ran from October 22nd and ended on December 7th. It asked two questions, continue to use FPTP or switch to a proportional representation system. The next question asked which proportional representation system to switch to.
Further details about the referendum results can be found at Elections BC’s website.