Province takes steps to 'modernize democracy'

By Greg Fry
October 4, 2017 - 3:45pm

KAMLOOPS — B.C.'s NDP government has taken steps it argues will "modernize democracy."

It did so by introducing two pieces of legislation Wednesday, the first a bill to allow for a referendum on electoral reform before the end of November 2018. The referendum is an important component of the NDP's agreement with the B.C. Green Party.

The Electoral Reform Referendum Act 2018 sets out the terms for a provincewide referendum on proportional representation. Voters will have the opportunity to submit their ballot by mail. If the referendum passes, the new system would be enacted before the next provincial election set for 2021.

The Province also introducted legislation to amend the Constitution Act to reduce the number of seats required for recognized political party status from four to two; to change the fixed date election to a Saturday in October; and to strengthen the institutional stability of government in the event, for example, of a natural disaster.

"These changes are aimed to bring B.C.'s democratic institutions into the 21st century, and to lay the groundwork for a referendum, where British Columbians will decide whether to change our electoral system," said B.C. Attorney General David Eby.

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