“Proportional representation makes your vote count.” That’s the message from the Communist Party of BC heading into this fall’s mail-in referendum on electoral reform in British Columbia. The CPBC is a registered provincial party, and one of thirteen organizations approved by Elections BC as a “referendum advertising sponsor” (eligible to print and distribute campaign materials; eight of these groups call for a “Yes,” the others for a “No”). The Party is also urging voters to back the “Mixed-Member Proportional” option among the three choices on the second part of the ballot.
Calling the referendum “a very high priority”, the CPBC leadership is working with every party club in the province to take a collective part in the “yes” campaign.
Each club will work to ensure that all members, friends and contacts are aware that ballot packages will be mailed to registered voters from Oct. 22 to November 2, and that the deadline for ballots to be received and counted is November 30.
Voters who have not received ballots can request these from Nov. 2 to 23, by contacting Elections BC at https://elections.bc.ca/referendum/ or by phone at 1-800-661-8683. The CPBC Provincial Office can assist people in helping to receive ballots.
CPBC clubs are also preparing to organize at least one collective distribution of the Party’s leaflet for a Yes vote, especially during the period starting October 22 through early November, when people are receiving their ballots in the mail, and public awareness and interest will be peaking. As well as leaflets, the CPBC is providing banners, placards, and a special poster for use by clubs.
One such action will be on Saturday, October 27, 12 noon-2 pm, at the Broadway Skytrain station in east Vancouver, where Party members and friends will distribute leaflets and engage in discussions with voters.
Other distributions will take place on post-secondary campuses, at labour meetings or union conventions (for example at the Hospital Employees Union convention starting Nov. 4 in Vancouver), and at public events which attract large numbers of people.
The CPBC is also encouraging its members to take part in local activities of Fair Vote Canada BC (seewww.fairvote.ca/pr4bc/), which is carrying out a strong campaign across the province. Fair Vote supporters are often the strongest advocates of other measures to strengthen democracy and civil rights, so this is a way to build coalitions for future struggles.
For more information, or to arrange meetings with the Communist Party of BC about the PR referendum, call 604-254-9836.