An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THE B.C. LEGISLATURE returns to work next week and maybe we’ll finally get some answers about the big referendum on electoral-system change.
The last provincial election was a year ago and John Horgan and the NDP have yet to outline a clear plan for how British Columbians are going to make a decision on continuing with first-past-the-post, or trading it for some form of proportional representation.
This has been the most unfair, stacked and botched process one can imagine. The ruling party badly wants proportional representation and looks to be doing everything it can to ensure the referendum provides the right answer.
A simple majority of the entire province will win the day — no consideration of regional threshholds. There has been no citizens’ assembly, as there was in the last two referendums on the question. There has been no credible public consultation aside from a rather lame on-line survey.
For the past couple of weeks, the Liberal opposition has been hammering the government in the Legislature on what the ballot will say, when the vote will be held and what the campaign rules will be. You know, the fundamentals.
As Opposition Leader Andrew Wilkinson asked about the government’s process, “Was this done by bots from Zimbabe?”
And Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have been unfailingly vague. Eby brags about “one of the largest engagements of British Columbians” ever, and says we’ll all be given the picture soon.
So far, it looks as though we won’t even be asked to choose what kind of proportional representation we want, or don’t want. Or will we? The government isn’t saying.
How can we vote on an issue if we don’t understand it? How can we understand it if we haven’t been provided the most basic of information?
All we know at this point is that there will be a referendum at an unspecified date before the end of November. Time’s a-wasting.
Time for some transparency.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on ArmchairMayor.ca and CFJC Today. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.