Party willing to Join Cross-Partisan Committee To Draft Legislation to Make Election Safe



Tuesday, August 4th, 2020
– VICTORIA – Following trial balloons and sabre-rattling emanating from the Premier’s Office this week, the BC Ecosocialist Party has called on the BC government to “stop igniting fears in high-risk and elderly voters with talk of a snap election.” Party communications chair Frithjof Petscheleit, whose romantic partner suffers from a chronic autoimmune condition, called on premier Horgan to tone down his rhetoric.

“Since we were formed, our party has been the only one saying that the NDP-Green alliance has lost the mandate to govern. We need a new election. But that does not mean it is responsible to toy with a snap election when we do not have all the measures in place necessary to make sure that not one single British Columbian has to choose between exercising their democratic rights and increasing their own and family members’ risk of Covid exposure. This government needs to explain how it will not just create safe voting procedures but make sure that the knowledge that safe procedures exist and are available to all is universally understood,” Petscheleit added.

Party president Jenn Neilson explained that the party, which remains eager for an election, is willing to help. “We are ready to join both any special taskforce as well as the standing BC Elections Advisory Committee to offer our input and accumulated knowledge on making the most robust, accessible, and safe election procedure possible. Our membership includes a wealth of academic, experiential, administrative, and legal knowledge of local and global election procedures that should be put to work.”

“Unlike our next door neighbours in Washington State, BC has a history of major failures when it comes to postal balloting, particularly in respect to turnout, accuracy, and utility of results. We cannot just use the procedures that were used for the proportional representation referendum of 2018, given its geographically and demographically uneven turnout. We need to build a new postal voting system that works for everyone. People standing six feet apart in line at the polls is not going to be good enough,” Neilson concluded.

The BC Ecosocialist Party favours a hybrid postal voting system with special departments handling college, reserve, unhoused, subdivided house renters, and other clusters of voters that did not engage with the 2018 referendum in representative numbers. Technical consultations would determine whether an online voting interface – the easiest way for many to vote during a pandemic – is secure, achievable, accessible, and viable.

 

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For more information, please contact:

Frithjof Petscheleit      frithjof.pets@bcecosocialists.ca

Jenn Neilson               jenn.neilson@bcecosocialists.ca