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P.E.I. government tables electoral reform referendum legislation

Voting. (File image)
The Liberal government tabled legislation Thursday that sets out the guidelines for a referendum on electoral reform coinciding with the next provincial election.

It’s going to take more than half of the people who vote in the next provincial election to get a change in the P.E.I.’s electoral system

The Liberal government tabled legislation today that sets out the guidelines for a referendum on electoral reform coinciding with the next provincial election.

Under the Electoral System Referendum Act, the threshold for change to a mixed member proportional voting system will take the support of more than 50 per cent of Islanders who vote in the general election.

When Islanders go to the polls, they have the option of voting in the referendum with a yes or no question.

“Should Prince Edward Island change its voting system to a mixed member proportional voting system?”

Although the referendum will be tied to the provincial election, Islanders won’t be required to cast a vote in it, even if they vote in the general election.

The legislation also provides for $150,000 in funding for groups running campaigns in support of or opposed to a change to the electoral system.

That funding will be split evenly between the yes and no sides, but they won’t be able to raise any outside funds aside from what the government provides.

A referendum commissioner will also be appointed to oversee the referendum.

Under the legislation, the commissioner would be in place by June 1 and appointed by the legislative assembly.

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