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NO STV

Official Proponent - NO to the Single Transferable Vote - May 2009 Referendum

NEWS RELEASE Friday April 17, 2009

NO STV says Single Transferable Vote won't help women be elected as MLAs in BC; two prominent women say vote against STV in May 12 referendum

VANCOUVER - The Single Transferable Vote would hurt the chances of women being elected in British Columbia as Members of the Legislative Assembly if it were passed in the May 12 referendum, says NO STV, the group opposing STV.

Vancouver city councilor Andrea Reimer and former provincial NDP cabinet minister Anne Edwards say that decades of experience in the two countries which use STV as their national electoral system demonstrate the failings of STV for women.

"In Ireland's 2007 STV election just 13.3% of those elected to the Dail, their parliament, were women - and that was an all-time high," said Reimer, a Vision Vancouver councilor and former Green Party Vancouver School Board trustee. "And in Malta under STV just 9.2% of elected were women in 2003 - these are very poor results."

Edwards, an NDP cabinet minister from 1991 to 1996 and author of the book Seeking Balance: Conversations with BC Women in Politics, says it is frustrating hearing STV proponents wrongly claiming that STV will elect more women.

"We have to do a much better job of electing women but the facts are the facts - under STV the number of women elected has been simply appalling," Edwards said. "Under our current first past the post system in BC we have elected between 22% and 27% women MLAs since 1991 - not good enough but STV would be a giant step backwards."

Both Reimer and Edwards say that a Friday event sponsored by the Yes for BC-STV group with the title "A Vote for STV is a Vote for Women's Representation" is completely misleading based on the facts of past election results.

Toronto commentator Judy Rebick and Scottish Member of Parliament Tricia Marwick are scheduled speakers at the event.

Reimer added that: "Supporters of STV will point to the Australian senate as proof STV works for women but what they won't tell you is that those gains weren't made until one of their major parties made a commitment to run 50% women. Before that change, only 14% of elected senators were women, on par with other STV countries. Now 36% are women - but it has nothing to do with STV and it's disingenuous to suggest it does."

 


 

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