Proponent - NO to the Single Transferable Vote - May 2009
RELEASE Tuesday May 6, 2009
R. D. Smith, Q.C., BC's Attorney General from 1983-1988,
writes: "Hardly anyone I meet understands STV or
the way that their vote will end up transferred to their
second or third choices." His full column is copied
someone open to reform our system of balloting, I am surprised
we are seriously considering STV.
anyone I meet understands STV or the way that their vote
will end up transferred to their second or third choices.
of STV say, " never mind the STV sounds complicated",
but it will result in a more representative and accountable
legislature. It works well in places like Malta (which is
more like Lilliput than British Columbia)!
do know that STV will give greater voice to the minor parties
and may produce more frequent minority governments. We are
told that minority governments can be a good thing - they
keep governments on their toes!
governments certainly have their place - but surely not
in difficult economic times which call for strong leadership
and bold decision making in place of endless compromise.
arguments to change our system are made from citing the
B. C. Election of 1996 when the Liberals won the popular
vote and the NDP won more seats.
example that offends is the 2000 US presidential election
when George Bush won the presidency by a majority of the
electoral college, while the Democrats won the popular vote.
results are exceedingly rare in North American experience.
1996 the NDP won because they won a majority of constituencies
, and it is constituency voters, not the overall provincial
vote, that determines who is to govern the province.
STV the existing eighty-five constituencies would disappear
and be replaced by twenty giant constituencies. You can
see these proposed constituencies on the Elections B. C.
other words, you will not have local community representatives
any more, but regional representation instead.
will be large regional ballots with multi candidates to
choose from. Since the entire region votes for your MLA,
you will find in time that successful candidates will tend
to come from the regional population centre. In the new
proposed capital region riding - successful candidates will
favour the core Victoria vote - and Sooke and Central Saanich
will become further removed from their representative.
will not have local community champions fighting for us
in the legislature.
will be a huge problem if you live in Alert Bay or the Charlottes
or in Radium - your member will be distant in a regional
centre and will not have the same incentive to fight for
your community interests.
is too bad that the Citizens' Assembly did not give us a
reform proposal that was practical and workable, and included
some proportional representation as well.
past the post is not perfect, but until someone comes up
with a new system that is fair and clear and that retains
my community connection with my member of the legislature
- I believe it is wiser to vote NO on STV.
R. D. Smith, Q.C.
for Mr. Smith's biography.