New electoral system recommended

  • Nov. 1, 2004 5:00 p.m.

When we go to the polls for the provincial election in May, there’ll be another question besides the usual choice of candidates.
The Citizen’s Assembly on Electoral Reform (a randomly selected group of citizens from across the province) has overwhelmingly voted (146 to 7) to adopt a new electoral system for BC. Now it is up to voters next May to decide whether the proposed “Single Transferable Vote (STV)” system is better than our current system. The Assembly has spent almost 10 months studying, researching, and debating, has held 50 public hearings and read over 1600 written submissions, and has now arrived at the conclusion that our current system needs to be modified.
Right now, we elect representatives by “first past the post,” ie. the candidate who gets the most votes – regardless of the total votes received – gets to represent that riding. In the proposed system (STV) the ballot would look different, and instead of just putting an “X” beside the candidate of your choice, you will be able to rank the candidates 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on – which would ensure that each party’s share of seats in the house should reflect its share of the popular vote.
Another difference would be geographically larger ridings, each with more than one representative. Sparsely populated constituencies (such as ours) would have 2 or 3 MLAs, and the denser urban ridings would have up to 7. However, the size of the legislature would remain the same, at 79.
The Citizen’s Assembly will meet again in mid-November to work on its report to the public, to draft a referendum question, and fine-tune their “made in BC” model before they pass it on to the public. Then they will submit the final report on December 15th, explaining the reasons for and implications of the recommendation. If voters give the proposition the green light, the government says it will pass enabling legislation so we will see this new system in 2009.

Just Posted

Number-one bud: Q.C. cannabis store could be the first on Haida Gwaii

A local business owner is looking to open the first licensed cannabis… Continue reading

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

December windstorms led to record ferry cancellations

Baileys for breakfast? It may not be what the doctor ordered, but… Continue reading

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

On the Wing: Christmas Bird Count #4 — Skidegate Inlet

By Margo Hearne The marine forecast read “winds northwest 15 to 25… Continue reading

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Port authority imposes ban on development around Lelu Island

Following Pacific Northwest LNG, there will be no future projects proposed near Flora Bank

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan promises reform at loggers’ convention

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

Most Read