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

Coast Mountain College announces interim president

Ken Burt, current president and CEO, will say goodbye to CMNT come September

Queen Charlotte crackdown

RCMP target impaired driving amidst rising numbers of the offence

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

Haida Gwaii storm causes B.C. ferry delay

Skidegate to Prince Rupert route affected

Rainfall warning for Haida Gwaii

High winds also expected to hit the islands

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

New ‘Matrix’ film set with Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski

Fourth installment to feature Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

Most Read