Friday, 8 May 2009


I am becoming increasingly fed up with the fear-mongering and misleading statistics being used by the campaign against the BC-STV electoral system being voted on next week in British Columbia.

I'm voting yes to STV for one very simple reason: it removes the fear of vote splitting, allowing me to indicate my true preferences. Period.

Have you ever heard any of the following statements?
  • "This is an NDP riding, there's no point even voting for someone else."
  • "This could be a close battle. Voting for the Green party might help the Liberal party get in."
  • "I like this party but I don't like their candidate in my riding."
With STV, you'll never have to hear those again. You can indicate your true first preference and, if they don't get elected, your vote gets counted for your next choice. No more vote splitting. And voting is dead simple: you write a "1" next to your first preference, a "2" next to your second preference, and so on.

Any electoral system is a complex balance between individual and group freedoms, degree of proportionality, cost, and many other factors. There is no "perfect" system. BC-STV may get tweaked over time but, in the meantime, the freedom to vote the way I want is reason enough to support it.

It's a shame that our province doesn't seem able to manage a real debate about this significant and important issue but don't be fooled by the mudslinging from either side. If you find the pro and con sites for STV in BC a little too heated, the Wikipedia articles on STV and FPTP (as well as on other voting systems) at least list both pros and cons for each. I also found the website of the Electoral Reform Society in the UK had useful and interesting reading (including pros and cons) on many different electoral systems. Although their stated preference for STV may bias their assessments of other systems, the site is much more balanced than any of the BC sites.

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