Mission voters support current election system

Referendum numbers show that both local electoral districts rejected proportional representation

British Columbia voters have rejected proportional representation and last Thursday’s results revealed that Mission voters were among the majority that supported the current First Past The Post (FPTP) format.

The Abbotsford-Mission electoral district voted 73.75 per cent in support of keeping the current FPTP format.

In total, 13,329 ballots were cast in favour of FPTP in the electoral district.

In the electoral district of Maple Ridge-Mission, 68.57 per cent of voters (11,321 votes) were in favour of FPTP.

B.C. Liberal Party member Simon Gibson, the Abbotsford-Mission MLA, said he was pleased with the results.

“I am very gratified with the results announced … by Elections BC, which will serve our residents well,” he wrote in an email. “This was an overwhelming defeat for the government and their third-party partners. This was a $15 million Cabinet-led experiment that was seen by most residents to be highly partisan and manipulative. It is a great day for our province.”

Provincially, FPTP was supported 61.3 to 38.7, with the Fraser Valley, B.C. Interior and Peace region seats soundly rejecting proportional representation.

PR did have backers on Vancouver Island and some areas of Metro Vancouver, with the highest total being 74.26 per cent in the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant district.

In total, 1,378,753 votes were tabulated, with 10,209 invalid votes.

“Electoral reform is finished,” said Deputy Premier Carole James, speaking for the NDP government while John Horgan was out of the country on vacation by the time official results were released Thursday.

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, who predicted last year that a move to proportional representation meant there would never be another B.C. Liberal government, downplayed his ardent support for changing the voting system when he spoke to reporters after the vote results.

Weaver rejected suggestions that the B.C. Greens remain relegated to “fringe party” status by the loss of proportional representation, which would have given the three-seat Greens as many as a dozen MLAs based on their 2017 result, 17 per cent of the popular vote spread thinly across most of B.C.

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