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What happens now the Assembly has proposed a new electoral system?

The answer: The Assembly's recommendation goes to a referendum to be held, for all registered B.C. voters, along with the provincial election on May 17, 2005.

To pass, and to become binding on the provincial government, the May 17 referendum would have to win with a "double majority", as follows:

  • Approval by at least 60% of the validly cast ballots province-wide,
  • And, as well, passage by more than 50% of the validly cast ballots in at least 48 of the 79 constituencies. (That is, by a simple majority in 60% of the ridings).
If the referendum passes, then the government must bring in appropriate legislation that would ensure the new electoral model can be in place for the election of May 2009.

These details are spelled out in the final version of Bill 52-2004, the "Electoral Reform Referendum Act".

This was passed in the legislature on 18 May 2004, and was given royal assent (thus formally becoming law) two days later. (Here, too, is a link to the provincial Referendum Act, to which Bill 52 refers.)

The government left it up to the members to draft a question for the referendum.  This they did, and the question reads:

  • "Should British Columbia change to the BC-STV electoral system as recommended by the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform? Yes/No"
The members had advice on the wording from the government's constitutional lawyers, who were asked to confirm that the planned wording will stand up under our current constitution and laws.

Electoral boundary changes and redrawing constituency maps for BC-STV system would be up to the independent provincial Electoral Boundaries Commission.

And here is a link to how to register to vote in B.C.
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