18 May 2005

BC referendum

Will electoral reform be coming to British Columbia? Yesterday, in addition to returning Premier Gordon Campbell's government to power, BC residents voted in a referendum on adopting the single-transferable-vote, a form of proportional representation recommended by the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform. At last count, the voters favoured this reform by slightly more than 57 percent. However, the rules adopted in advance indicate that the measure must pass by at least 60 percent of voters and by a simple majority in at least 60 percent of the ridings to be considered to have won the day. STV exceeded the latter stipulation but fell short of the former. However, Fair Vote Canada and Fair Voting BC are arguing that, because 60 percent is an unrealistic hurdle, the BC government should consider adopting electoral reform anyway. Premier Campbell has expressed openness to this.

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