Kamloops MLA 'troubled' by NDP's plans to 'modernize democracy'

By Greg Fry
October 5, 2017 - 3:59pm

KAMLOOPS — Kamloops-North Thompson Liberal MLA Peter Milobar is no fan of the provincial government's move to allow for a referendum on electoral reform.

On Wednesday, B.C.'s minority NDP government announced a bill that would allow for a referendum before the end of November 2018. If the referendum passes, the new system would be enacted before the next provincial election set for 2021.

"The most troubling piece is that they've now dropped the threshold to a 50 (per cent) plus one majority vote province-wide with no second need to have number of ridings in that support as well," says MIlobar. "And what that means is that when you have a large geographic area like Metro Vancouver it gets to be almost mathematically impossible for the Interior, who under proportional representation would lose almost half our seats, to have an equal voice."

He says if the NDP wants to go ahead with 50 plus one "there should also be a threshold of number of ridings that need to be approving this."

"So that you get a true sense. This would dramatically change our democracy for a long, long time and to just do it on a backroom deal doesn't seem right."

Though Milobar acknowledges our current first-past-the-post electoral system "isn't perfect," he says it's much better than what he's seen in some European countries where in some cases it's taken over a year to "figure out who's going to run the show."

Milobar also isn't pleased the NDP introduced legislation that proposes to move the fixed election date from the spring to the fall noting "it's disappointing they tried to grab an extra six months in office."

Expect delays on the Coquihalla this long weekend