Voting reform group says 50% plus 1 should win
Published May 20th 2005 in CBC News
CHARLOTTETOWN – An Island group promoting the idea of electoral reform says P.E.I. shouldn't make the same mistakes as British Columbia, setting a traditional threshold for change to the provincial voting system.

Fifty seven per cent of British Columbians voted in favour of changing the electoral system in their province this week.

B.C. set the referendum threshold at 60 per cent. However, Premier Gordon Campbell said the strong mandate does leave room for more discussions.

Jeannie Lea, the spokesperson for Every Vote Counts on P.E.I., said the threshold was too high. She said when P.E.I. holds a plebiscite on the issue it should consider 50 per cent plus one a majority.
She said most British Columbians didn't understand electoral reform, so she'll be lobbying P.E.I.'s Commission on the Electoral Reform to focus on education.

"And I think it has to be multi-faceted. You know, use the media, do something like a householder, have some public meetings. I think that was a big mistake in B.C. We can learn a lesson from that. We have to make sure that people understand what we're talking about when they vote in a referendum here."

The commission is charged with educating Islanders about the current system and how an alternative system would work.

It will also come up with a plebiscite question and date for when that vote should be held.

Premier Pat Binns has suggested the question could be included on the next provincial election ballot.