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The British Columbia government has set out the rules for its referendum on electoral reform and they include giving the designated opponent and proponent groups $500,000 each to get their message out.

A mail-in ballot referendum will take place between Oct. 22 and Nov. 30, and will ask two questions about what system voters would prefer for provincial elections.

The government says in a news release that it has adjusted the ballot questions based on recommendations from the chief electoral officer, and will now ask: which system should B.C. use for provincial elections and if B.C. adopts proportional representation, which type of system do you favour?

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Voters will choose between the current first-past-the-post system and proportional representation, and if they pick the latter, they will be asked to rank their preference for three kinds of proportional voting.

The regulations also include a $200,000 limit on referendum advertising expenses by a group or individual and the chief electoral officer will have the authority to provide a neutral public education campaign about the voting system.

Premier John Horgan has said the current voting system is unfair because in the last five provincial elections, only one political party has formed government after receiving more than 50 per cent of the vote.

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