Peace River North MLA Dan Davies announces opposition to referendum on proportional representation


Peace River North MLA Dan Davies is opposed to the NDP government’s latest proposal.

The government has announced their plans to hold a referendum next fall on changing BC’s electoral system from first-past-the-post to proportional representation. The BC Liberal Party has announced their opposition to the move, citing 2 main reasons – less representation in the legislature for rural ridings, and harmful effects on the economy.

 “When we’re looking at attracting industry, looking at attracting corporations to British Columbia to invest in, they want stability," said Davies. "Proportional representation, governments that are always time after time after time a minority government, does not provide that.”

The NDP announced during the campaign their plans to hold a referendum on the issue but said it would be a referendum for the 2018 municipal elections, and that the referendum would be a yes or no question. The government’s bill does not specify the question that will be posed but allows for more than one question to be asked, which Davies says muddies the waters.

“Proportional Representation is already confusing by nature," Davies said. "It’s not an easy system to understand, so when you’re going to be throwing in multiple pieces of this into a mail-in ballot and then looking at ‘ok, 50 percent +1 is going to be the number that’s going to change the democratic process that’s been in place for 130+ years, that’s scary.”

Davies says the Liberals are currently putting together a campaign to oppose the change, which they will be running until the referendum next year.