“If you were woke, you’d know that pro rep is lit.”
It’s the 11-word sentence that has turned heads of all ages since it was uttered by Premier John Horgan during Thursday night’s electoral reform debate with BC Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson.
Social media users were quick to judge what they saw as a cringe-worthy comment, which Horgan defended on Twitter shortly after the 30-minute debate.
I stand by my statement. #ProRepIsLit.
Proportional representation means exactly what it says: 40% of the votes = 40% of the seats.
Governments elected under pro rep do what so many of us do every day. They work together to get things done. #bcpoli
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) November 9, 2018
If you’re one of the many people who don’t know what those words mean, “woke” means to understand what’s really going on in a situation, while “lit” often means being intoxicated at parties, but anything fun.
Even New Democrat Bowinn Ma, B.C.’s youngest MLA at 33 years old, said she didn’t know the two words until Thursday night.
Learning this phrase tonight reconfirms for me what I've said before: That I'm the youngest MLA in BC at 33 doesn't tell you how youthful I am; it tells you how old #bcpoli is! Let's change this with an electoral system that engages younger voters. #prorepislit #HelloFellowKids https://t.co/dttgn0fL1D
— Bowinn Ma (@BowinnMa) November 9, 2018
Meanwhile, the catchphrase caught the attention of many online.
The woke and lit comment by Horgan was an attempt to be relatable… I'm sensing a lot of eye-rolls from the intended audience and google searches from everyone else #PRDebate #Horgan pic.twitter.com/8M5q2wFHZf
— Carol Wain (@carolwain) November 9, 2018
When Premier Horgan said “woke” and “lit” I finally understood why my teenage daughters cringe when I repeatedly ask them “If they heard any good tea at school today.”
— Adrian 🤦🏻♂️ (@AY604) November 9, 2018
Go John Horgan, but did he just say “if you were woke, you’d know that pro rep is lit?” That was…surreal #bcpoli
— Ishmam Bhuiyan (@ish_bhuiyan25) November 9, 2018
Wilkinson and Horgan mostly talked over each other during the debate, staying on familiar talking points.
“Let’s get modern, let’s get hip,” Horgan said, in a bid to emphasize how the current First Past the Post system gives a majority to parties who did not get more than half the votes, and that B.C. needs to modernize.
Wilkinson hammered the point that many ballots are being “thrown in the trash” because people haven’t had the time or information to assess the options.
Mail-in ballots are due on Nov. 30 at Elections BC.
– With files from Tom Fletcher