The MLA for Kootenay East believes proposed changes to how we vote are not good for rural BC.
Residents are being urged by the Province to give their thoughts on a Fall 2018 referendum on electoral reform and how ballots are designed.
Tom Shypitka says this is the most important vote British Columbians will ever take part in.
He’s concerned the framework for this decision is already set in stone.
“This arrangement between the NDP and the Greens was pretty much the number one issue in their supply and confidence agreement when they got together,” Shypitka says. “This was more or less a backroom deal set up by the Greens to say ‘we’ll play ball with you, but this is what we want.'”
Shypitka says everyone should make their voices heard, but he’s worried the proposed changes are difficult to understand.
“People just aren’t up on all this stuff, its confusing and very complex,” Shypitka says. “I just did a 30 minute speech in the house and its very clear that even the MLAs don’t understand the complexity of what these options and choices are. Its really unfair to be putting this to the public in this type of forum.”
Shypitka says more education is needed on the different options available.
He feels the system could take away the voice of Rural ridings and give more power to densely populated areas.
Voters can fill out an online survey about the referendum campaign until February 28th.
Two previous referendums on proportional representation in 2005 and 2009 failed.
– Kootenay East MLA, Tom Shypitka