19 April 2009

Why STV, not MMP? More Power to Voters.

By far, this is the best description of the history of the BC Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform, why the Assembly chose BC-STV over mixed member proportional representation (MMPR) and why voters prefer systems using the Single Transferable Vote.

Which, by extension, may explain why MMPR hasn't done as well in Canada as STV has in BC - the only province to have already voted on the system and given it a 58% thumbs up. Not surprisingly, that wasn't good enough for the BC Liberals who in 2001, with 57.7% of the vote, obtained 97% of the seats.

Some points of note regarding why the BCCAER chose STV over MMP:
The only limiting stipulation [imposed by the BC government] was that the new system should have no more MLAs than the legislature's then 79 members....

STV was chosen over the second choice, Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMPR), for two principal reasons. First, in order to avoid increasing the number of seats in the legislature, MMPR would require enlarged single-seat ridings and therefore fewer directly elected MLAs.... The Citizens' Assembly decided on STV because it would maintain the present number of seats, give total control to the voters for every MLA elected, everyone's vote would be counted, and MLAs would be elected to the legislature in close approximation to the popular vote - in other words, proportional representation.

Lots of other terrific stuff in this article by Ray Grigg of the Courier-Islander, a Campbell River paper. It is the first of a four-part series, the next part to focus on choosing candidates under BC-STV.

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