B.C. Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman (Black Press)

Kootenay East MLA ‘couldn’t be happier’ with electoral reform result

71.8 per cent of the Kootenay East vote favoured keeping the First Past the Post system

British Columbia residents have voted to keep the existing electoral system by a margin of 6.1.3 per cent, over three options proposing proportional representation systems.

The referendum asked voters if they wished to keep the existing First Past the Post (FPTP) electoral system or move to a proportional representation system that included Mixed Member, Dual Member or Rural-Urban.

“People took part in the largest public engagement in B.C.’s history and gathered in communities around B.C. for town halls and discussions about how we vote in our province,” said B.C. Premier John Horgan, in a statement.

“British Columbians have now spoken and chosen to stick with the current voting system. This referendum was held because we believe that this decision needed to be up to people, not politicians. While many people, myself included, are disappointed in the outcome, we respect people’s decision.”

In Kootenay East, voters decided to keep FPTP by a margin of 71.8 per cent over the three proportional representation options, the most popular of which was Mixed Member.

“I couldn’t be happier, the people of British Columbia have spoken,” said Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka. “I think the result is exactly what we thought it would be in that the ballot was convoluted. There was three options, two of which have never been used anywhere in the world before, one that was rejected twice by an impartial, unbiased citizen’s assembly.

It’s exactly what we thought, I couldn’t be happier and, like I said, the people have spoken. It’s great news.”

Kootenay East cast 12,569 referendum votes in total, with 9,023 (71.8 per cent) in favour of FPTP and 3,544 (28.2) in favour of proportional representation. In the first round of voting, Dual Member received 1,769 (28 per cent), Mixed Member received 2,274 (36 per cent) and Rural-Urban received 2,274 (36 per cent).

Provincially, Rural-Urban was dropped from the second round of voting after receiving the lowest amount of votes. In Kootenay East, that shifted secondary preferences of voters choices on the ballot, meaning Mixed Member ended up with 3,519 (61.9 per cent) and Dual Member with 2,158 (38 per cent).

There have been three electoral reform referendums over the last 13 years, which have asked voters to move to a Single Transferable Vote (STV) in 2005 and 2009. The 2005 referendum result supported a move to the STV system, however, it fell just shy of the 60 per cent threshold of valid votes needed to make it a binding result.

“I think this puts it to bed for quite some time now,” said Shypitka. “I think people are happy. Nothing is perfect; I’ve stated this all along — First Past the Post isn’t a perfect system, but no system really is so I’m happy with the way it’s gone and I congratulate people on both sides for participating and taking part in this process.”



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

RCMP busy with thefts, mortar discovery, assault, arrests, more

Submitted Cst. Debra Katerenchuk, Media Relations Officer, Elk Valley RCMP The Elk… Continue reading

First Nations included in latest Columbia River Treaty talks

Seventh round of negotiations between Canada and U.S. wrap up in Washington D.C.

Elk Valley coach sets sight on all girls hockey team

Statistics from BC Hockey show fewer girls are signing up to play… Continue reading

Proposed Hosmer intersection set to improve safety

A proposed intersection in Hosmer aims to improve the safety of those… Continue reading

Maiden Lake flood mitigations to be completed in full

The City of Fernie will forge ahead with all required flood mitigations… Continue reading

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Canada Day fireworks cancelled in Fernie

Fireworks will not feature as part of Canada Day celebrations in Fernie… Continue reading

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from B.C. furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Most Read