A timeline of events in British Columbia’s electoral history

A timeline of events in B.C.'s electoral history

VICTORIA — A timeline of British Columbia’s electoral history:

1871 — First general election is held.

1873 — The secret ballot is introduced and federal MPs are disqualified from sitting as members of the legislature.

1874 — Chinese and Aboriginal Peoples are disenfranchised.

1878 — Teachers are prohibited from voting or campaigning, which is overturned five years later.

1895 — Japanese are disenfranchised.

1899 — Provincial civil servants are disenfranchised, but the policy is repealed a year later.

1907 — Hindus are disenfranchised.

1917 — Women get the right to vote.

1918 — The first woman, Mary Ellen Smith, runs and is elected to office in a byelection in Vancouver.

1924 — Premier John Oliver and Opposition leader William John Bowser are defeated in the general election.

1934 — Last election of a candidate by acclamation as Thomas King wins the Columbia district in a byelection.

1940 — All ballots state political party or interest of candidates, and returning officers are no longer required to proclaim “oyez! oyez! oyez!” on election day.

1945 — Members of prohibited groups, if otherwise qualified, are allowed to vote if they served in either world war.

1947 — People without an adequate knowledge of English or French are disqualified from voting, while the prohibition against Chinese and Hindus is removed.

1949 — Aboriginal Peoples and Japanese are allowed to vote. Frank Calder from the Nisga’a First Nation is elected to legislature.

1952 — Voting age changed to 19.

1956 — The first Chinese-Canadian to run for a seat in a Canadian legislature is elected as Douglas Jung wins Vancouver Centre in a byelection for the Progressive Conservatives.

1977 — Liquor sales are allowed on election day.

1979 — Blind voters are able to mark their own ballots using templates.

1982 — People without an adequate knowledge of English or French are no longer disqualified from voting.

1986 — The first Indo-Canadian wins a seat in a Canadian legislature as Moe Sihota is victorious in Esquimalt.

1991 — Rita Johnston becomes the first woman premier as she is elected by the Social Credit caucus after Bill Vander Zalm resigns.

1992 — The voting age is lowered to 18 from 19.

1995 — The Recall and Initiative Act comes into force providing a mechanism to recall legislature members and allowing citizen initiatives to be brought before the legislature or to a provincewide referendum. British Columbia is the only jurisdiction in Canada with recall legislation.

1997 — The first petitions to recall legislature members are authorized, but they are ultimately unsuccessful after they fail to get the required number of signatures set by the law.

2000 — The first Indo-Canadian becomes premier as Ujjal Dosanjh is elected by the NDP at a convention after the resignation of premier Glen Clark.

2001 — Fixed election dates come into force.

2005 — Voters reject a system of proportional representation.

2011 — Voters reject the Harmonized Sales Tax in a referendum.

SOURCE: Elections BC

The Canadian Press

We are experiencing technical difficulties with our commenting platform and hope to be up and running again soon. In the meantime, you can still send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter, or submit a letter to the editor.