(Anna Rankin posted this in the comments section of my previous post on BC-STV, I’ve reproduced it here for all to see)
As a former member of the Citizen’s Assembly on Electoral Reform, I urge readers to do their own research on STV. Go to the referendum information office website for neutral information on our current system and the proposed system.
The CA was comprised of ordinary citizens selected at random to review our current electoral system and compare it to alternatives used elsewhere in the world. The CA voted 146-7 to recommend changing our system to STV. Why? Because STV beats our current system on three key points: fairness, local representation and voter choice. It is not as simple to count, but it is not hard to count. Ireland has been doing it since 1922. Ease of counting was not one of the top criteria the CA deemed important in choosing an effective electoral system.
We don’t pretend to believe that STV will fix all that ails us. But we are hopeful that the election outcomes under an STV system will produce a legislature that reflects how the electorate voted. That just seems fair.
It will also provide very effective local representation. For example the Cariboo-Thompson riding would be an amalgamation of five ridings. So each voter would still have one vote, but would influence the election of five different MLAs. Your vote is like one dollar, a few cents spent on candidates you choose. After the election is over, you would have a choice of five different MLAs to take your concerns to. We manage fine with large ridings necessary in our federal system (with only one MP). Under STV, you would have similar size ridings but with a choice of MLAs competing with each other for your vote. It will be in their interest to address your concerns.
Can you imagine going to the ballot box and actually having a choice of candidates from one party and/or selecting independents or a Green party member that might even have a chance of getting a seat? Under STV you can make much more nuanced choices. Maybe your loyalty isn’t completely with one party or the other. Instead of being forced into the black and white choices offered by our current system, you will be able to use your vote to make sophisticated choices. You can put your first and second preference down for the candidate from your favorite party, but you can also throw some support to minority parties or independent candidates. Or you can just put down a single preference. It’s up to you.
Voters will elect 85 MLAs under either system and under both systems voters get one vote. So why does David Schreck infer that somehow under STV we will have less votes? Because he wants you to scare you [sic] into voting against STV. Please do not be fooled by the fear-mongering from ex-politicians. STV puts power squarely in the hands of voters.
Anna Rankin, Quesnel
(Thank You, Anna… it is wonderful to hear from someone who was part of the process!)