Fair Vote Comox Valley launches its campaign to encourage British Columbians to vote ‘yes’ in the upcoming BC electoral reform referendum with Let’s Make Every Vote Count! Where? At the Stan Hagen Theatre. When? On March 14 with doors opening at 6:30.

Focused on replacing BC’s outdated electoral system, the group’s event brings together well-known speakers and local supporters who are active in proportional representation organizations.

Speakers include Elizabeth May, member of the federal Special Committee on Electoral Reform and MP Saanich-Gulf Islands; Rachel Blaney, MP North Island-Powell River, who conducted town hall meetings in 2016 about electoral reform; Barbara Berger from Fair Vote BC; and North Island College student Sheldon Falk from the BC Federation of Students and the North Island Student Union.

Fair Vote Comox Valley spokesperson, Pam Munroe, a long-time supporter of electoral reform, believes proportional representation’s time has come. “Our values have evolved but our voting system hasn’t. Women vote. First Nations vote. People of colour vote. Those votes, the aspirations of those groups will be best served by a proportional representation system that fairly reflects how they vote.”

Providing citizens with accurate information is one of the key goals of the event, a goal with which Elizabeth May concurs. “The first and most essential step in fair voting is understanding why our current system is unacceptable in a modern democracy. With a referendum this fall, let the educational process begin!”

Rachel Blaney believes that people want to look at alternatives to our current voting system. “It was clear from the consultations in 2016, as well as the disappointment I heard when the Prime Minister betrayed his commitment on electoral reform: people want to learn about other systems of voting, and want an alternative to first-past-the-post.”

While students may not readily understand the different types of proportional representation the government may offer on the referendum, Falk believes “what they do understand is fairness. The percentage of votes a party gets should equal the percentage of seats they occupy in the legislature. That just makes good sense to us.”

Since seating is limited and filling up quickly, those interested are advised to get their free tickets at eventbrite.ca

Fair Vote Comox Valley