Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson says the referendum on changing British Columbia’s electoral system was not about improving democracy.
“This was a flawed process from the beginning as the NDP stacked the deck to satisfy the Green Party and remain in power,” he said in a statement posted to his Facebook page. “This has never been about improving our democracy, it was always about power and control.”
The Liberals lobbied hard to keep the first-past-the-post electoral system and Wilkinson said the province has spoken.
“Today we saw the power of democracy as millions of British Columbians sent a clear message to the NDP and Greens that their self-serving referendum was not going to be tolerated,” he said.
However, only 845,235 of the 1,378,753 British Columbians who voted chose to keep the first-past-the-post electoral system.
“To all the British Columbians who voted for a change believing that we need to improve our democracy, we can assure them that they have been heard,” said Wilkinson. “We need a government for the 21st century. One that looks to the future to create opportunity for all of B.C., one that not only addresses the issues facing British Columbians today, but prepares for the ones they will face tomorrow. The best way to improve our democracy and restore faith in the system is by modernizing and adapting to meet those challenges in innovative and new ways.
“The rejection of Proportional Representation by the people of British Columbia demonstrates a clear desire to keep political power in the hands of voters.”