on the No BC-STV Campaign
19, Iain Hunter, Times Colonist: New voting system alienates
23, 2009 Bruce Strachan: The single transferable vote
or how to get elected without really winning
you should defeat the Single Transferable Vote on May 12
- Bill Tieleman in Vancouver Sun
STV takes away MLA accountability
Bill Tieleman, Special to the Vancouver Sun
Columbians are faced with an even more important decision
than who to vote for in the May 12 election -- because a
referendum on electoral systems could have far more long-lasting
effects on our province.
must choose between our existing first-past-the-post electoral
system and a proposed Single Transferable Vote.
STV, the official opponent group, has been strongly urging
British Columbians to reject this complex, obscure and confusing
electoral system that would take away the local accountability
and responsibility members of the legislative assembly owe
reasons are many.
would create enormous ridings of up to seven MLAs and 350,000
people that would take away local accountability and responsibility
of MLAs to voters.
Columbia's 85 single-member ridings would shrink to just
20 under STV, meaning instead of having your own MLA in
your current riding, you would have up to seven MLAs in
a much bigger area.
some cases that new STV riding is absurdly large -- Cariboo-Thompson
STV riding would stretch from Quesnel all the way to the
United States border!
in other cases the STV ridings simply make no sense.
proposed North Island-South Coast STV riding is bisected
by Georgia Strait.
in Sechelt, Gibsons, Powell River and the Sunshine Coast
would share their MLAs with those in Tofino, Port Alberni,
Port Hardy, Comox, Courtenay and other north Island communities.
the all-candidates meetings or party nominations -- or imagine
how the riding's four MLAs would rationally divide their
attention to the more than 200,000 people there stretching
across the strait and hundreds of kilometres apart.
longer would any of these ridings have their own MLA. Instead,
voters would have a group of MLAs, none of whom would be
responsible for any of the former single member ridings.
would there be any guarantee of where MLA offices and staff
would be located to deal with residents' issues.
instead of local accountability, voters would get "government
by committee" with a group of MLAs who may not come
from parts of the riding or get along with other elected
there's STV's complicated "fractionalizing" of
your vote using a mathematical "transfer value"
formula that means you will never know where your vote really
"weighted Gregory inclusive method" is how votes
will be chopped up.
just a partial sample of how the vote works, as described
by the Citizens Assembly that recommended STV:
a candidate on the first count gains more than the minimum
number of votes needed to be elected, the candidate is declared
elected, and the number of votes in excess of the number
of votes needed to be elected (the surplus) is recorded.
of the elected candidate's ballots are then re-examined
and assigned to candidates not yet elected according to
the second preferences marked on the ballots of those who
gave a first preference vote to the elected candidate. These
votes are allocated according to a 'transfer value.'
formula for the transfer value is . . . ."
are 11 other steps involved in the count. And after that,
the "Droop Quota" will determine how many votes
a candidate needs to win election.
am not making this up.
proponents say you can easily rank your choices 1,2,3 --
but the math involved shows you will have no idea what happened
to your vote because there are far more mathematical combinations
possible than there are 6/49 Lottery pick possibilities.
will also increase, not decrease, the power of political
in large STV ridings would have to reach far more voters
in a 350,000-person STV riding than under our current system
with single member constituencies of about 50,000 people.
makes candidates even more dependent on political parties
to get their names and message out.
smaller third parties and independents would face huge challenges
trying to reach that many voters across large geographic
under STV has failed to elect a single third party candidate
since the 1960s and no independent since the 1950s.
Ireland, the only other country using STV as a national
electoral system, features politics far nastier and more
party-dominated than here.
if STV proponents are correct, B.C. could have perpetual
unstable minority and coalition governments -- a recipe
for endless backroom deals between politicians and no leadership
for our province.
that if STV passes, B.C. will be stuck with it for a recommended
minimum of three elections -- that's 12 years, running to
2025 -- before changes can be considered.
to keep our current first-past-the-post system on May 12
-- and if you believe there are better systems work for
that afterwards. Don't accept a disastrous STV system that
won't serve British Columbia.
more information: www.nostv.org
Tieleman is president of No STV.
to the Editor on the No BC-STV Campaign
2, 2009, Just Say No to STV
11, 2009, SummerlandReview.com, STV is Complex Electoral
11, 2009, AldergroveStar.com, STV is too confusing
and News on the No BC-STV Campaign
Langara Dialogues Debate
with Shoni Field and David Schreck
11, 2009, Interior-News.com (editorial copied below)
no to STV
March 11, 2009 8:00 AM
the May 12 provincial election voters will also be casting
their ballots to determine if they want to switch to the
Single Transferable Vote (STV) system for future elections.
During the 2005 referendum, 57.69 per cent of voters were
in favour of STV. However, it failed to meet the 60 per
cent threshold required to be implemented.
proves that some people are so desperate for electoral
reform, theyre willing to jump in bed with the first
safe voting, dont let our Legislature catch STV.
the STV system, MLAs would be grouped into larger, multi-MLA
ridings. In Prince George the new Prince George-Mackenzie,
Prince George-Valemount and Nechako Lakes ridings would
be combined into a three-MLA riding extending from Smithers
of selecting a single candidate, voters rank the candidates
from first to last place.
are tallied using a complicated shell game, with votes
passing from voters first to second to third choices
until enough candidates have reached the threshold to
is probably the most ingeniously stupid way to elect governments
has all the advantages of being complex, confusing and
cumbersome, while electing MLAs who cant effectively
serve their ridings.
starts during the election campaign, and gets worse from
a small riding like Prince George is in would have three
Liberals, three New Democrats, three Greens and numerous
independent candidates. The candidates that get heard
in that shouting match will be the ones with money for
signs and advertising.
of giving independents and smaller parties a voice, the
system will drown them out in information overload.
voters go to the ballot box and have to decide from a
bewildering selection of candidates. In Prince George
that might be under 20, but in larger ridings like Vancouver
it could easily be 40 or more.
the shell game begins and some candidates get elected,
although for many people it will be hard to follow the
convoluted logic which got them voted in.
weve got a cluster of MLAs representing each riding.
Having different parties representing each riding is very
possible, and promoted as a benefit of STV.
great until someone needs to get their MLAs support
or help on something. Now instead of having to get one
person on board, you have to convince three, five, seven
politicians are certainly known for their collaborative,
non-partisan approach. Im sure well never
have MLAs from one party sabotaging the efforts of MLAs
of the other parties in the riding.
and I forgot to mention the ridings in rural areas are
would have three MLAs each trying to individually cover
an area 1.54 times the size of Ireland or more than 411
times the size of Malta the only places on earth
that use STV exclusively.
would fail to deliver on everything it promises: voter
choice, proportionality and local representation.
many choices are no choice at all; proportionality will
only apply to those with the money to get heard; and local
representation will be neutralized by competing MLAs and
vast, unmanageable ridings.
reform could be beneficial for B.C. and Canada, but dont
fall head over heels for the first system to come knocking
at the door.
no to STV.