Fort St. John meeting on BC-STV vote

There will be a seven o’clock Fort St. John meeting tomorrow night at the Business Resource Centre giving local area voters a chance to learn more about the Single-Transferable-Vote, election system.

It received 58 percent support…just 2 percent short of passing…in a 2005 provincial election referendum and, it will be back before voters, on the 12th of May. For 150 years BC has used the First-Past-the-Post or Winner-Take-All, voting system, which now divides the province into 85 seats.

The winner in each of those constituencies is the one who receives the most votes, even if that is not the majority of votes.

BC-STV supporters claim its time for change noting, that in the last provincial election 13 percent of voters cast their ballots for smaller parties and received no legislative representation. The STV system comes from a Citizen’s Assembly of 160 randomly selected men and women from across the province.

They recommended using a preferential ballot, with each voter given the option, of listing candidates in their preferred order of choice. As was the case, at the recently held Peace River North Liberal nomination meeting, counting is then done in rounds and the candidate with the least number of votes is removed, after each round.

The system also uses multi-member districts, of between two and seven members, increasing according to population numbers.

With more than one MLA representing the same geographical area, the election result should be fairer, in terms of voter concerns and MLA’s should be more accountable.

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