VICTORIA, B.C. - The B.C. Green caucus and New Democrat caucus have formed a working group on proportional representation. The working group will be led by B.C. Green MLA Sonia Furstenau and New Democrat Bob D’Eith. The caucuses agreed to hold a referendum and to campaign together in support of proportional representation under their Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA).
“CASA is a result of two distinct parties coming together after a hard-fought election to collaborate on shared values,” said Furstenau.
“Our Parties don’t agree on everything. However, one of our shared values is an inclusive participatory democracy. Proportional representation is fundamentally about giving voters an opportunity to vote for what they believe in, instead of having to always vote against what they don’t want.
“This working group is about two parties working together to engage the public, experts and each other to produce an evidence-based submission to the Attorney General’s process. I look forward to working with Bob to engage British Columbians on this important discussion about the future of our democracy.”
The B.C. Greens have forgone ministerial consultations required under CASA in order to ensure the independence and integrity of the Attorney General’s role in developing the referendum process.
The working group will engage British Columbians on what they want from their democracy. The group will encourage people and organizations to participate in the government’s How We Vote engagement process to help shape next year’s provincial referendum on electoral reform.
The group will also work with their respective caucus colleagues, experts and advocates of democratic reform and will be making a submission to the Attorney General. This submission will be made public once it is finalized.
“My kids and their friends tell me that right now, they don’t see the point in voting, that they feel that their vote won’t count,” said D’Eith.
“When a government gets less than half of the votes, but holds 100 per cent of the power, I can see how they feel that way. This isn’t about partisan politics, this is about making everyone’s vote count. Both the New Democrat and B.C. Green caucuses agree that our voting system needs to be more fair and equitable. We’re looking forward to campaigning together.”