The Liberal MLA for Cariboo North has several concerns with the mail-in referendum underway on possibly changing how we vote.
As for the process, Coralee Oakes says she would have preferred a Citizens Assembly get together to discuss any possible changes and not politicians.
She also would have preferred to have a vote during the municipal elections, because Oakes says so far not many people are voting…
“We’ve only had 5.9 percent of people in Cariboo North vote, only 1,225 people have submitted their ballots. I think in the province it is 2.9 percent at this point and something as fundamental as changing how we elect people, and encouraging citizens so that the power remains in citizens hands versus say the potential of changing to significantly altered election formats is critically important, and we need to get people to ensure that they get out and vote on the referendum.”
Oakes says she’s also concerned that some people may not even be given the option to vote…
“I have heard from multiple constituents, especially this last week, that they have not received their ballot. I am encouraging everyone if you have not received a ballot please contact Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683. You have until November 23rd to get a different ballot from Elections BC.”
Oakes is in favour of keeping the first past the post format…
“I feel that we are talking about significant serious changes to our democratic process and at this time there are over 20 items that have not been determined. For example we do not know the size of our ridings where what ridings would be merged or amalgamated into these mega ridings. We don’t know if under the proportional representation part, the 40 percent of the elected, would they come off of an open or a closed list, and what that means is you could potentially have party bosses making decisions, for example under mixed member proportional representation, that decides who will be represented in each of the ridings.”
Oakes also doesn’t like the idea of only needed 50 percent plus one to change everything and that it doesn’t matter how few people vote.
She says normally 60 percent plus one is needed and you need a certain amount of people to vote.