BRITISH COLUMBIA
11/09/2018 12:38 EST | Updated 11/09/2018 13:51 EST

B.C. Premier John Horgan: If You're 'Woke' You'd Know That Proportional Representation Is 'Lit'

So, this happened.

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson are photographed following an electoral reform debate at Global Television in Burnaby, B.C on Nov., 8, 2018.
The Canadian Press
B.C. Premier John Horgan and Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson are photographed following an electoral reform debate at Global Television in Burnaby, B.C on Nov., 8, 2018.

Bad news everyone. It seems last night all of our dads fused into an amorphous blob, became the premier of British Columbia and did this:

OK, so that's not a dad blob. It's actual B.C. Premier John Horgan, passionately professing to Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson that if he was "woke," he'd recognize that the proportional representation electoral system is ..."lit."

What in tarnation?

"Woke" is a slang term that means someone is aware or "awake" to social injustices and issues like systemic racism. Like most things on social media, it also eventually became a thing some people use to be crack jokes.


"Lit," meanwhile is ... less profound. It's also a slang term that means someone is drunk or high. It's also used to say something is incredible or exciting. I.e. "Barry's new lawnmower is lit. He bought it used but it's good."


Horgan and Wilkinson — which is not a folk band — were taking part in a debate Thursday evening on the ongoing referendum for B.C.'s provincial election system. From Oct. 22 to Nov. 30, residents are mailing in their votes to decide if the province will move away from the current first-past-the-post (FPTP) system to a proportional representation (PR) model.

Under PR, the number of seats a party wins in a legislature is generally proportional to the number of votes it received in an election. In a FPTP system, the candidate with the most votes in a riding or district takes it entirely for their party, meaning majority governments are often formed without a party receiving a clear majority of the votes.

The premier, if it wasn't clear, is a fan of proportional representation, or "pro rep," as he dadly put it. He argued that PR forces politicians and parties to work together, adding that young people can't get enough of that sweet, sweet, cooperation.

The Canadian Press
B.C. Premier John Horgan (L) and Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson smile for the cameras at a debate on the province's electoral system on Nov. 8, 2018.

"With proportional representation people will engage in the system because they don't know the outcome yet," Horgan told Wilkinson.

"They know that their vote will count because a proportion of the votes go to the party as they come into the ballot box. Forty per cent of the votes, 40 per cent of the seats. That means people have to work together. Young people like the idea of working together."

Earlier in the debate, before reaching the zenith of his pop-culture-referencing powers, Horgan said Wilkinson — who supports the FPTP model — is afraid of change.

"Let's get modern. Let's get hip," Horgan said.

Some users on Twitter, as you might expect, pounced on the "lit" quote:

Horgan and the provincial NDP seem to be pretty proud of the quip, though. "I stand by my statement. #ProRepIsLit," he wrote on Twitter, while the party shared this image:

Horgan's affinity for dad-ified politics isn't entirely new. Last year, ahead of the provincial election, the party put out a video to galvanize voters called "Vote Early — Make the Dad Jokes Stop."

It shows Horgan walking around an office bombarding staff members with bad jokes.

"We're voting early ... because we really just want the jokes to stop," says the party's digital director Karl Hardin.

And who could forget this highlight from the 2011 federal election, when the late NDP leader Jack Layton said former prime minister Stephen Harper's plan to fight crime was a "hashtag fail."

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