VANCOUVER, June 11, 2018 /CNW/ - The upcoming referendum on how British Columbians elect their members of the legislative assembly is biased and unfair according to a new group, FairReferendum.com which launches today.
Before the end of November 2018, British Columbians will be asked to make a vital decision about their future and vote in a referendum on how they elect Members of the Legislative Assembly.
In a recent public announcement, Attorney General David Eby revealed the design of the ballot question for the November referendum.
The BC provincial government is proposing one of the biggest changes to Canada's political system — a change to proportional representation in place of a system BC has used since Confederation — yet there is no provision of an independent process to ensure that a clear, fair and balanced question be given to the people, one which all citizens can understand.
"British Columbians deserve a referendum process that is transparent, free of bias and that doesn't favour any particular outcome and none of this is happening," said Jim Shepard, Director of FairReferendum.com. "The question, potential outcomes of the vote and the definition of the threshold for a binding result should be clear to British Columbians. They are not."
Mr. Eby, who has stated his bias in public, was put in charge of the ballot question. On close examination, it is not surprising that his double-question ballot slants the vote outcome to his favour.
"Putting Mr. Eby in charge of the ballot question is like letting the coach of the Washington Capitals rewrite the game rules so he could be sure to win the Stanley Cup," said Jim Shepard. "This complex double-question ballot must be recalled and replaced with one clear question designed by an independent non-partisan body which has no vested interest in the outcome of the vote. Then we will have a referendum that is fair with a good chance that the outcome will be trusted by British Columbians."
According to FairReferendum.com, both opponents and proponents of our current system should be concerned that the confusing proposed double-question ballot will drive the campaign into endless arguments about the fuzziness, unfairness and legality of the ballot questions and detract from a thoughtful discussion about the attributes of each option.
"Please Mr. Premier, reconsider and provide British Columbians with a referendum that is fair," said Jim Shepard.
FairReferendum.com is a non-partisan, non-government organization that wants the 2018 referendum process to be fair and free of bias.
For further information: Jim Shepard, 1.877.815.9761, [email protected]