I am writing to you today on behalf of the KNOWB4UVOTE.COM SOCIETY and many concerned British Columbians regarding the upcoming Referendum on Electoral Reform.
In a recent letter addressed to the Honourable Darryl Plecas, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Anton Boegman, Chief Electoral Officer for Elections BC provides his suggested edits to the language included in the proposed referendum questions. This letter was shared publicly on June 18, 2018 by Elections BC.
Mr. Boegman clearly states in his letter that he was asked to only review the language of the first question on your proposed ballot for simplicity and clarity. However, he was not asked to consider the language of the second question, or more importantly the structure and format of the ballot and referendum process itself.
Mr. Boegman's letter says the following:
"Given the non-partisan nature of my office, and the legislated role of Cabinet in setting the referendum question, our review is limited to assessing the clarity and simplicity of the question. Further, I have decided to review both ballot questions, as I believe it is important to ensure the ballot as a whole is simple and clear. The review does not extend to the structure or format of the ballot questions."
Why did the Government not ask Elections BC to provide feedback on the format and structure of the ballot? The format of the referendum ballot is of critical importance to the validity of the referendum as a whole.
Additionally, I am greatly disappointed to see the Government of British Columbia announced on Friday (June 22, 2018) that the format of the referendum and ballot have been approved per your recommendations. Mr. Eby, British Columbians deserve a referendum process that is fair, free of bias and that does not favour a particular outcome. Your referendum process is not that.
To quote Gordon Gibson, OBC, and architect of the Citizen's Assembly on Electoral Reform "the voting system belongs to the people. Not the politicians. Period." A government cannot and should not be responsible for a referendum process as the government is inherently conflicted and could be directly impacted by the result.
The process you have put before British Columbians is overly complex and it illustrates an obvious bias, therefore the result should not be considered valid. The double-question ballot does not treat each voting system equally, the voting systems have not been provided with equal funding, and the ultimate outcome could be determined by far less than 50% of British Columbian voters.
Regardless of the outcome, British Columbians deserve better.British Columbians deserve a Fair Referendum.