Monday, October 29, 2018

Door to Door with a message to deliver, but for facts on how it all works ... we'll have to dig a little deeper.

It was door knocker weekend for the Pro and No Sides of the proportional election referendum teams, with North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, recruiting a little high profile cabinet help from Jinny Sims for the message making on the North Coast.

With the Minister of Citizens' Services  joining Ms. Rice in taking to a few of Prince Rupert's neighbourhoods to make the case for the Yes side of the referendum process.

 Jennifer Rice and Jinny Sims in Prince Rupert Saturday
talking electoral reform in some of the city's neighbourhoods

(Jennifer Rice twitter feed)

We're not sure how the get out the vote campaign went for Ms. Sims and Ms. Rice, as they never made it to the home office (and in this case a home office, actually is a home office) of the North Coast Review.

But to this point, it doesn't appear that they were trailed by Television cameras in Prince Rupert, ready to record the exchange of ideas on the journey to the door steps of some of the city.

The pursuit of the press however was the case in Vancouver, where the door knocking continued across many constituencies, and in one, the conversation with the voters, as recorded by the media ran viral on social media.

That as Melanie Mark, the NDP government's Minister for Advanced Education, Skills and Training, struggled to explain some of the elements of what the new political landscape will look like should the Yes side of the debate win the day come the end of November.

"I'm not an expert" says BC minister quizzed on proportional representation
BC Politicians hit the streets to talk proportional representation

And while it's actually somewhat refreshing for a politician if they can't answer a question, to say that they don't know, Ms. Mark's travels certainly have made some news.

Advanced Education and Skills
Minister Melanie Mark in
Vancouver on Saturday
(Melanie Mark twitter feed)
Through her commentary, the Advanced Education Minister seems to have inadvertently helped to make a portion of the case of the opposite side of the debate.

A collective which has consistently stated that this referendum process as developed by the NDP Government is a rushed and confusing one and more importantly, lacking in some key details as to how it will all work if approved.

The troubles that the NDP minister had with with explaining the system also arrived just in time to take the heat off the Anti-proportional representation side, which had launched the first few days of its campaign to sway the voters with a bizarre theme and one that earned some well deserved scorn for their early efforts.

Anti-proportional representation side defends ad that uses goose-stepping soldiers

The early ad campaign featured a dystopian video of some political hells-cape ahead should the proportional representation option prevail, where it is suggested British Columbia could fall under the sway of any number of unsavoury extremist parties with ill intent in their hearts.

And while the message may have some legitimate elements to it considering the world view at the moment ...  a little over the top, seemed to be the reviews prior to the ad disappearing from the rotation of political message making.

As part of the main focus of their original reservations towards the vote, the No side led by the Liberals in the Legislature had previously been having some success in highlighting the confusion of the options and the lack of clarity on how the system will work.

That is the theme that they perhaps should have continued on with as a course of action through this home stretch period of the campaign.

It would seem that is a message that might even resonate across the aisle in the Legislature, particularly with some of the government's own ministers and back benchers.

We imagine that in production right now is a  new ad for the voting period now underway.

One that that features Ms. Mark's struggles on the process of post referendum reforms and one which may soon be making it into the campaign ad arsenal of the No side campaign as the next few weeks move forward to the November 30 mail in deadline.

Those opposing this latest attempt at electoral reform should be able to make some significant political hay from the weekend's commentary.

If the government that is urging voters to take the leap of faith towards an unknown and poorly explained system; can't actually tell anyone what their preferred system is all about and how it will work. 

Then they probably should not be too surprised if the public hedges their bets once again on electoral change and waits for the next time that the consultation on changing the voting system comes along.

You can catch up on the debate and discussion on the proposed change to our electoral system through our archive page found on our political blog D'Arcy McGee.

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