‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns mount big push as PR referendum enters final weeks
It is the final weeks of the proportional representation vote, and both the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ sides were out in force in Vancouver Sunday.
The ‘Yes’ forces, led by Premier John Horgan and Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver rallied a lively crowd of several hundred in East Vancouver Sunday morning before Premier Horgan donned his sunglasses to lead a procession out to a mailbox where some supporters mailed their ballots.
With Elections BC reporting that they’ve received ballots so far from less than 20 per cent of registered voters, Horgan told reporters he’s not presently worried about the prospect of his side winning without an indisputable mandate.
“I think it’s premature to even have that discussion,” Premier Horgan said.
“I know that question will come to me in two weeks time and I’ll want to discuss it then.”
Across town in Kerrisdale, BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson was out leading his own team on the ‘No’ side.
WATCH: Premier John Horgan and BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson debate PR
Wilkinson cited the present political situation in Sweden, which uses a form of proportional representation that he says has led to a confusing sequence of elections in a short span of time.
“My family emigrated here when I was little,” Wilkinson told Global News, “and there’s a good reason we came here. Because it’s a stable, respectful society, and that’s partly because we have a parliamentary system and people mess with that at their peril.”
In an intriguing twist, longtime NDP booster Bill Tieleman was also speaking out against the pro-rep. Tieleman told Global News that this vote has actually revealed political fissures in all of B.C.’s major parties.
“Former NDP Premier Glen Clark, former NDP Premier Ujjal Dosanjh, they’ve come out against proportional and in favour of first past the post. So it does split within parties,” he said.
“And there are Liberals who want proportional, and there are New Democrats who don’t want it, and there are Greens who don’t want it.”
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