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

Masset dodges empty-ballot bullet

After an extended deadline, Masset now has enough candidates for council

Sunny skies for Terry Fox Run

Queen Charlotte and Masset runs raise nearly $3,000 for cancer research

Masset short on council candidates, other communities okay

Nominations deadline for Masset council extended to 4 p.m. Monday

Fishing boat ‘Haida Legend’ sinks off Langara Island

All crew rescued by nearby sport fishers, boat was re-fitted in late 2016

Last day to run for Oct. 20 election

Candidates have until 4 p.m. today to file nomination packages

Canning sockeye by hand in North Coast B.C.

Arnie Nagy teaches the Northern View how to can salmon in Prince Rupert

Russia blames Israel for plane shot down by Syrian missile

A Russian reconnaissance aircraft was brought down over the Mediterranean Sea as it was returning to its home base inside Syria, killing all 15 people on board.

Vancouver park board passes motion to learn Indigenous place names

The name of Vancouver’s Stanley Park is now up for debate as the city’s park board confronts its colonial past and pursues reconciliation.

Champ golfer from Spain killed in Iowa; suspect charged

Police said Celia Barquin Arozamena was found dead Monday morning at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 30 miles north of Des Moines.

Abdelrazik torture lawsuit delay would be unconscionable: lawyer

The federal government is making a last-minute plea to delay the Federal Court hearing

Trudeau upset after meeting with Saskatchewan chiefs

Trudeau is upset about how time was managed in a recent meeting

B.C. tent city ‘devastated’ after flash flood

Maple Ridge mayor says that residents shouldn’t have to return to their flooded tents

Filipino-Canadians concerned about family after typhoon hits Philippines

Typhoon Mangkhut has killed 66 people in the Philippines and four in China

Ottawa looks at having retired judge help guide renewed pipeline review process

The feds would only says that ‘multiple options were on the table’

Most Read