STV or not?

Single Transferable Vote ( STV) has been a part of the provincial election debate in BC.

As polls open for BC’s 39th election today STV still is a contentious issue. It has been ridiculed, criticized and even disregarded but history demonstrates it has worked successfully for some governments.

In order to encourage voters and to minimize loss of votes the voters have to list the order of preference for their favoured candidates.

” I am not sure if I want anyone else to take the place of my candidate just because enough people did not vote for him.” says Robin Macahalar of Vancouver.

Machalar admits she does not understand the STV system and admits her boyfriend made jokes about the acronym when she tried to talk to him about it.

British Columbia voters could make Canadian history according to their referendum decision they make on their ballot today.

Voters’ ballots for the provincial election will contain not only the names of the candidates in their riding, but also a crucial referendum question.

Electors will choose 85 MLAs and a new government – but they also will see a question similar to one on their ballots in the May 2005 election.

Their answers will determine the degree of satisfaction with British Columbia’s current first-past-the-post system of electing MLAs – the system used in every other jurisdiction in Canada.

Or will they opt for something new – the STV or single transferable vote method?

In the last election, the question on the ballot read: “Should British Columbia change to the BC-STV electoral system as recommended by the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform?”

This time, voters will be asked: “Which electoral system should British Columbia use to elect members to the provincial Legislative Assembly?

There will be two choices:

-The existing electoral system (First-Past-the-Post)

-The single transferable vote electoral system (BC-STV) proposed by the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform

If STV passes it will be used for the next election in May 2013 and voters’ ballots will be much different looking.

For more coverage on the issue:

STV Vote could be last chance for reform

Party Leaders cast their votes in B.C. election


2 thoughts on “STV or not?”

  1. As a member of Fair Vote Canada where we vote for our national council members using STV, the rate of spoiled ballots is very small. In the last council election, we used an internet ballot which does ask us to double check our rankings before we press the SUBMIT button. Members still have the right to receive a paper ballot if requested. One you try an STV ballot, you will know how easy it is to use.

  2. A Two-Vote Electoral System Proposed

    The need for electoral reform resonated with me. While the Single Transferable Vote concept was not acceptable to BC Voters, I believe it would be a mistake to give up on electoral reform. I believe first-past-the-post voting system is wrong because it allows disenfranchisement and encourages voter apathy.

    I would support a simpler electoral reform, such as a Two-Vote electoral system. The province would be divided into 43 constituencies which would elect two representatives. The ballot would allow a Voter to choose their top candidate using the traditional “first-past-the-post” method, and allow a second vote for Voter’s alternative choice of a political party or identified independents. Simple rule, between your two votes, you can’t vote for the same party twice (unless you wish to register an abstention).

    This simple binary voting system would not be as perfect as STV, but would result in a legislature that is more representative. Knowing you have two representatives to choose from in your constituency would encourage greater voter turnout because their votes would matter and result in increased representation.

    Could you support simpler Two-Vote electoral system?

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