By Vanessa Broadbent
The results of the provincial referendum on electoral reform have been tabulated and the First Past the Post (FPTP) system will remain.
On Thursday, ElectionsBC announced that 61.3 per cent of votes received were to keep the First Past the Post system, while 38.7 per cent were in favour of Proportional Representation.
MLA Linda Larson had predicted that the results would be closer, but said the results were a “pleasant surprise.”
“I am a firm believer in our current democratic systems despite some flaws,” she said.
“First Past the Post still provides a stability that other forms of governments do not and I think the majority of people, who have been watching political institutions fall apart in other democratic countries, were not willing to take a leap into the unknown.”
A total of 1,378,753 voting packages were returned province wide, and 15,781 from the Boundary-Similkameen region.
• Read more: Each vote counts in PR (opinion)
Voters in the region were more in favour of keeping FPTP than the provincial average, with 68.68 per cent voting to keep the system and 31.32 per cent supporting proportional representation.
The ballot also asked voters to rank which system of Proportional Representation they would like to see. Of the ballots received, 831,760 included an answer to the question.
Across the province, Dual Member Proportional (DMP) received 29.45 per cent of first preference votes, Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) 41.24 received and Rural Urban Proportional (RUP) received the least with 29.31 per cent.
Since no one system received the majority of votes, the RUP system was removed voters’ second choices were counted, resulting in 63.05 per cent support for MMP and 36.95 in favour of DMP.
In the Boundary-Similkameen region, only 55.7 per cent of those who returned their voting packages answered the second question.
The first round of votes favoured RUP with 38.37 per cent of votes, 33.67 per cent votes for MMP and 27.96 per cent for DMP.
After second preference votes were included, MMP had 61.16 per cent of votes and DMP had 38.84 per cent.