Voting system could change

Vancouver Sun – Voting System Could Change – Jan 12, 2009

The Tyee – Sharing the STV Pie – Jan 15, 2009

I didn’t realize that we would be getting a second shot at a referendum on our voting system.  It looks we have a second chance to usher in the Single Transferable Vote (STV) into reality.  I thought STV was a good idea, if not to at least get us a more proportional representation of our actual votes.  However, I think it was the status quo that won last time.  If a voter is not fully informed (and it’s admittedly hard to be fully informed these days given personal schedules), then they will more than likely vote for the status quo.  However, I think STV can really offer a different alternative to our First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system that has been in place for a very, very long time.

However, there is one big knock against STV and it is that it is rather complicated on the surface and does not readily make sense to a person.  The Citizens Assembly a few years ago decided on this system and their website provides a nice animation on how the voting system works.  I was actually surprised when the Green Party came out against STV in favour of Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) government.  I honestly think MMP is more convoluted because you get multiple MLAs/MPs for your one riding.  I think that waters down the accountability.  With STV, you still get one representative per riding, but if you really wanted to vote for your #1 choice, you still could.  But you could also add in your #2 and #3, etc. choice if you wanted to.  Watch the animation to understand better.

STV in animated action

STV in animated action

You can also check out the host of sites surrounding STV, both for and against:

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One comment

  1. 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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