STV system debate reignited

The recent federal election has once again reignited debate about the need to reform our voting system and a National Day of Action for Electoral Reform has been called for May 14

The recent federal election has once again reignited debate about the need to reform our voting system and a National Day of Action for Electoral Reform has been called for May 14. The current first-past-the-post (FPTP) system creates majority governments despite the fact the majority of voters do not vote for the winning party, and it denies seats to political parties that gain significant popular support at the ballot box.

In this past federal election, the Conservatives won 54 per cent of the seats in Parliament with the support of less than 40 per cent of voters (only 26 per cent of the registered voters). The 60 per cent majority of Canadians who did not want a Conservative government are left with only the hope that Prime Minister Harper will honour their vote by incorporating some of the Opposition’s ideas into his agenda. In the 1996 B.C. election, the NDP won government despite the Liberals getting the majority of votes, causing the Liberals to become advocates for electoral reform.

In 2001, the NDP were reduced to two seats in the legislature, despite still obtaining 22 per cent of the vote. With a proportional voting system, the 2001 election would have resulted in the NDP winning 17 seats and the Green party nine seats.

Enter the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform — a result, really, of both parties having experienced the distorted outcomes of the FPTP system in back-to-back elections. The assembly recommended B.C. adopt a Single Transferable Vote (STV) system which would allow voters to rank multiple candidates on election day (a preferential ballot), require successful candidates to get over 50 per cent to win a seat, and ensure everyone’s vote counted. The 2005 and 2009 B.C. referendums on STV were unsuccessful — however, in 2005 British Columbians clearly signalled they wanted a change in their voting system.

If you believe all British Columbians should be allowed to mark preferential ballots, that we need to finish the conversation the Citizens’ Assembly started, please get engaged in this week’s day of action for electoral reform.  Visit my website for more information on how to have your voice heard: www.bobsimpsonmla.ca.

Bob Simpson is the Independent MLA for Cariboo-North.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139 president David Brideau salutes the Cenotaph at city hall during a past Remembrance Day services in Williams Lake Monday, Nov. 11. Brideau, who served three years with the Canadian military in Edmonton, was the parade commander during the Legion’s Remembrance Day service. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake legion looks to upgrade lounge, patio, to be COVID compliant

Upgrades will require significant financial investment, Branch 139 president David Brideau said

Williams Lake’s Daine Dubois (left) and 150 Mile House’s Isaac Bedford have been named as recipients of the 2020 Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Tribune file photos)
Two Cariboo athletes honoured with Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport

“You have honoured the province, your nations, and your families.”

A worker at Gibraltar Mine north of Williams Lake. (Taseko Mines Ltd. photo)
B.C. Mining Month celebrates innovation

Mining has long been important to the Williams Lake economy

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read