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BC  

Leaders clash in PR debate

British Columbia's political leaders clashed in a debate on electoral reform on Thursday, with Premier John Horgan casting proportional representation as modern and even "hip," while Opposition Leader Andrew Wilkinson insisted the system is too confusing.

The politicians often talked over one another during the heated televised discussion on the province's voting referendum, with Horgan in favour of switching to proportional representation and Wilkinson supporting the current first-past-the-post process.

Voters who mark their referendum ballots in favour of proportional representation must rank three possible systems, and Wilkinson accused Horgan of refusing to answer questions and being dishonest with voters about how the systems would work.

Horgan responded that fear of change appeared to be motivating Wilkinson and opponents of proportional representation, saying the system is used successfully in countries around the world.

The debate was frequently chaotic and Horgan quipped at one point that if it was just going to be two men yelling over one another, then people were likely to change the channel to "Wheel of Fortune."

The New Democrats made electoral reform an election promise in 2017, and holding a referendum was a key part of their agreement with the Green party to take power in the legislature.



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