British Columbia

John Horgan: I voted for mixed-member proportional in electoral reform referendum

B.C.'s premier has revealed his vote in the provincial referendum that could change the electoral system.

B.C. premier says MMP is most widely used worldwide, which 'gives us the baseline to work from'

Premier John Horgan speaks at rally in support of proportional representation on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

B.C.'s premier has revealed his vote in the provincial referendum that could change the electoral system.

During a news conference Thursday, John Horgan confirmed that he voted in favour of proportional representation.

He went on: "I voted to select the option of mixed-member [proportional], because it is the most widely used internationally. That gives us the baseline to work from."

Under a mixed-member proportional system, or MMP, voters would select one candidate from one party, and the person with the most votes would get elected — just like in the current system.

But in each region of the province, there would also be extra proportional representation MLAs, allocated by how well the party did in that region overall. The system would result in 60 per cent of members of the legislature being elected by the most votes and 40 per cent from lists set by political parties.

The other two potential systems under consideration are dual-member proportional, which would involve large ridings represented by two politicians, including one with the most votes, and rural-urban proportional, which would be a blend of the MMP for rural ridings and the single transferable vote system for urban ridings.

Under STV, voters rank candidates in order of preference. 

Voters can also choose to stick with the current first-past-the-post system.

That's the option chosen by former NDP premiers Glen Clark and Ujjal Dosanjh. Clark told Business in Vancouver this week that he prefers the current system because "I like to vote for the person who represents me."

Ballot packages for the referendum have been sent out over the last few weeks, and completed ballots must be received by Elections B.C. by Nov. 30

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