A timeline of events in British Columbia’s electoral history

A timeline of events in B.C.'s electoral history

VICTORIA — A timeline of British Columbia’s electoral history:

1871 — First general election is held.

1873 — The secret ballot is introduced and federal MPs are disqualified from sitting as members of the legislature.

1874 — Chinese and Aboriginal Peoples are disenfranchised.

1878 — Teachers are prohibited from voting or campaigning, which is overturned five years later.

1895 — Japanese are disenfranchised.

1899 — Provincial civil servants are disenfranchised, but the policy is repealed a year later.

1907 — Hindus are disenfranchised.

1917 — Women get the right to vote.

1918 — The first woman, Mary Ellen Smith, runs and is elected to office in a byelection in Vancouver.

1924 — Premier John Oliver and Opposition leader William John Bowser are defeated in the general election.

1934 — Last election of a candidate by acclamation as Thomas King wins the Columbia district in a byelection.

1940 — All ballots state political party or interest of candidates, and returning officers are no longer required to proclaim “oyez! oyez! oyez!” on election day.

1945 — Members of prohibited groups, if otherwise qualified, are allowed to vote if they served in either world war.

1947 — People without an adequate knowledge of English or French are disqualified from voting, while the prohibition against Chinese and Hindus is removed.

1949 — Aboriginal Peoples and Japanese are allowed to vote. Frank Calder from the Nisga’a First Nation is elected to legislature.

1952 — Voting age changed to 19.

1956 — The first Chinese-Canadian to run for a seat in a Canadian legislature is elected as Douglas Jung wins Vancouver Centre in a byelection for the Progressive Conservatives.

1977 — Liquor sales are allowed on election day.

1979 — Blind voters are able to mark their own ballots using templates.

1982 — People without an adequate knowledge of English or French are no longer disqualified from voting.

1986 — The first Indo-Canadian wins a seat in a Canadian legislature as Moe Sihota is victorious in Esquimalt.

1991 — Rita Johnston becomes the first woman premier as she is elected by the Social Credit caucus after Bill Vander Zalm resigns.

1992 — The voting age is lowered to 18 from 19.

1995 — The Recall and Initiative Act comes into force providing a mechanism to recall legislature members and allowing citizen initiatives to be brought before the legislature or to a provincewide referendum. British Columbia is the only jurisdiction in Canada with recall legislation.

1997 — The first petitions to recall legislature members are authorized, but they are ultimately unsuccessful after they fail to get the required number of signatures set by the law.

2000 — The first Indo-Canadian becomes premier as Ujjal Dosanjh is elected by the NDP at a convention after the resignation of premier Glen Clark.

2001 — Fixed election dates come into force.

2005 — Voters reject a system of proportional representation.

2011 — Voters reject the Harmonized Sales Tax in a referendum.

SOURCE: Elections BC

The Canadian Press

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