Monday, April 13, 2009

More for Apr. 1st-5th

Get out and vote, and vote, and vote
Prince George Citizen
Sat 04 Apr 2009
Section: Opinion
Byline: Brian Harding

Voters to rank candidates if BC-STV given approval

The Delta Optimist
Sat 04 Apr 2009
Section: Opinion
Byline: Nick Loenen

It's very simple: STV makes perfect sense

Nelson Daily News
Fri 03 Apr 2009
Page: 7
Section: Editorial
Byline: Brian D'eon

To the Editor:

Our present, traditional, "first-past-the-post" system has many problems. It encourages negative campaigning, extreme partisanship, strategic voting, and a feeling of apathy and despair among those whose vote "doesn't count."

Under the BC-STV proposal, all votes will count. In a riding like ours, where there will be four elected representatives, I can vote first for a candidate who represents my preferred party, while at the same time voting for another candidate who shares my special interest in education issues (vote #2). I can even vote for an incumbent, who although of a quite different political stripe, has been very responsive to local issues and deserves to be re-elected (vote #3). No more need for the mind-numbing notion of strategic voting.

BC-STV doesn't guarantee my first choice will be elected. But if not, my second choice is a strong possibility, and if not my second, my third is almost a certainty. Ninety per cent of voters under the STV system will see at least one of their chosen candidates elected.

The most common objection to the BC-STV proposal is that the vote counting system is complicated. So is the internal combustion system of my car, but I'm quite confident it will start in the morning, and don't feel I must know exactly how it works. This very counting system has worked flawlessly in Ireland since 1922. Similar systems are found in Australia and New Zealand and dominate European democracies. Is there any reason to fear it wouldn't work here?

The present "first-past-the-post", "winner-take-all" system may do well in a hockey arena but, in the complex world of interlocked global economies, it is dangerously out-dated. We must nourish a vision of government that sees parties working together on establishing policy, not vying to "score points" during question period. In war time Britain a government in crisis invited members of the Opposition to take important cabinet posts. Why? Because it was imperative that the best people be put in the most important jobs no matter what their political affiliation. What a refreshing scenario that would be! Surely the worldwide economic meltdown and the threat of massive climate change are enough reason to call for a similar response today.

For me, the most compelling argument in favour of the BC-STV proposal is that it was recommended overwhelmingly in 2004 by BC's Citizens' Assembly. This assembly, made up 160 men and women from every walk of life, spent eleven months evaluating the testimony of experts from around the world. I cannot imagine a greater exercise in pure democracy in recent memory. Much more than the recommendation of any politician, much more than even my own personal preference, I have faith in the informed and sober judgement of this assembly of my peers.

Frankly, I don't think it much matters which party wins the next provincial election, but if we choose the BC-STV option, it may no longer be necessary to enter the polling booth holding our noses, and all of us may claim a victory.

Brian d'Eon

Nelson, BC

STV in focus at special forum as opposing forces rally

Surrey Now
Friday, April 03, 2009

We need STV to kick start reform

Richmond Review
April 03, 2009

Do you know about STV?

Chetwynd Echo
Fri 03 Apr 2009
Page: 31
Section: Public Forum
Byline: Brad Morrison
Source: Chetwynd Echo

In addition to an upcoming provincial election on May 12th, there will be a referendum question on electoral reform. In 2005, BC-STV received 58% support, just 2% shy of passing.

The referendum question will ask which electoral system should BC use to elect MLAs: the current system of First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) or BC-STV (Single Transferable Vote).. BC-STV is the proportional type of electoral reform recommended by the Citizens' Assembly. It satisfied all three of their top criteria: near proportionality, better representation, and more voter choice.

Under BC-STV, the current ridings would be combined to form larger districts with multiple MLAs, resulting in greater competition between candidates. Locally, the Peace River North and the Peace River South would be combined to form a 2 MLA district, giving all voters an additional MLA to turn to. The number of MLAs for our area will not change under BC-STV and the total number of MLAs would also remain unchanged.

Rather than marking an X by a single candidate, in a multi-member district one can rank as many or as few candidates as desired. They can stay within party lines or go beyond. It is the voter's choice. If your first choice has more than what is needed to be elected, the portion that is surplus is transferred to your second choice. If your first choice has been eliminated, because they have the fewest number of votes, then your vote is transferred at full value to your second choice.. This transfer process continues, considering further preferences, until the necessary number of MLAs have been elected. Under BC-STV there are fewer wasted votes as a result of this transfer process.

I urge people to learn more about BC-STV in order to make an informed decision on May 12th. Attend an upcoming presentation, listed at, or visit A short but very informative video is also provided at Contact Wilf Chelle at 772-5607 or Sandra Hoffmann at for further information or to find out how you can make a difference.

Forum aims to explain STV system

Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Thu 02 Apr 2009

STV: how will this new system work in B.C.?

Alberni Valley News
Thu 02 Apr 2009
Section: Opinion

Yes vote on STV helps the planet

Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Thu 02 Apr 2009
Byline: Richard Boyce

STV is needed

Langley Times
Thu 02 Apr 2009
Page: 9
Section: Opinion

Editor: I believe STV is a very needed system here in BC. I do not believe that the voters are ever truly represented by their area MLA, or even the local councils for that matter.

It always seems that the polls are never far-reaching enough, the studies are too flimsy and short-sighted, and the public are not given time or avenues to truly consider any or most proposals, such as the Mufford overpass. It seems that things are passed before we ever get a chance to thoroughly examine the bright ideas that are put forward.

No matter what the public has to say, things are always pushed through or spin doctored to try and convince voters this is right. Often there are outside interests in the background.

The issue passes almost every time, because it has already been decided beforehand.

STV would be beneficial in eliminating the wasted votes. Every vote would count, you would know you actually helped improve something in the system, and more people would be likely to cast a ballot. Do you believe you are effectively represented, municipally or provincially?

Ken Witt,


With STV, your vote can count, even if your candidate 'loses'

By Brad Bird
Oceanside Star
Thursday, April 02, 2009

STV editorial proved timely

Penticton Herald
Thu 02 Apr 2009
Page: A7
Section: Letters
Byline: Marjorie Murton

Dear Editor,

Thank you for your timely editorial of Wednesday, April 1.

You are quite right that there needs to be more interest in the matter of Single Transferable Vote (STV) being on the ballot of the provincial election on May 12.

We don't think folks will ignore the question as you state as there is still time to get informed.

The public is invited to attend a presentation on this issue and also ask questions on Wednesday, April 15 at 7 p.m. at the Penticton United Church sanctuary at 696 Main Street. (Please use the chapel entrance for use of the elevator.)

The event is hosted by the church's Peace, Justice, Environment and Outreach Committee as a service to the entire community.

Marjorie Murton


Houston forester joins STV debate

Houston Today
Wed 01 Apr 2009
Byline: Todd Hamilton

What is the STV?

Penticton Herald
Wed 01 Apr 2009
Page: A10
Section: Opinion
Source: Penticton Herald

When the average British Columbia resident likely isn't even aware there's an provincial election on the horizon (maybe everyone is still electioned-out after a municipal election coming on the heels of a federal election), we can't imagine that there's tremendous interest in the new Single Transferable Vote issue.

In case you haven't heard, this is going to be on the ballot again this May and it could change the way we elect our MLAs.

Several of the parties and individual candidates are going to make this an election issue.

Unfortunately, there hasn't been a lot of hype or excitement about this. More people around the water coolers or on Facebook are talking about who's going to win American Idol than the future of democracy in B.C.

Maybe the reason is that STV is incredibly complicated, hard to understand and even more difficult to explain.

STV would replace the existing "first past the post" system with mutliple MLAs in larger ridings. Voters would rank candidates in order of preference and any votes not required by the top candidate to be elected would be redistributed to the other candidates in order of voter preference.

In the 2005 provincial election, a referendum on STV fell just short of its goal. While a 57 per cent majority voted in favour of the new system, it had to be approved by 60 per cent of the voters province-wide and by a simple majority in 48 of the 79 ridings to pass.

One would have thought over the past four years, an ongoing educational campaign would have been launched to bring everyone up to speed on the proposal and more comfortable with its impact.

This hasn't happened. While undoubtedly a lot of work was done behind the scenes, the vast majority of voters today are just as confused about STV as they were in 2005. Now with just over two months to go until the election, a late campaign is being launched.

There is a movement afoot from the 'yes' side and you will undoubtedly hear more as Election Day draws nearer.

Too little, too late. You can count on the vast majority of voters either ignoring the question or being woefully ill-informed on the STV as they go to cast their ballots in May.

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