B.C. NDP want referendum

British Columbians were invited today to help shape the referendum due next fall on reforming the voting system in the province.

Attorney General David Eby says a government website asks for public input on the question to be on the referendum ballot and for suggestions about possible voting systems.

The New Democrats promised electoral reform during last spring's election campaign and last month introduced legislation calling for a mail-in vote that sets a 50 per cent, plus one margin to be successful.

The Opposition Liberals criticize the changes and during debate in the legislature members said a system of proportional representation gives urban areas too much power at the expense of rural zones.

Kootenay Liberal Doug Clovechok told the legislature the current first-past-the-post system has served B.C. and Canada well for the past 150 years and his party will not support a system that benefits the current political partnership between the NDP and the Greens.

Eby says if the referendum passes, legislation will be introduced in time for B.C.'s next election in 2021.

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