31 May 2010

Edmonton Sun Favours Electoral Reform

"The single-member plurality system, which allows a candidate to win without a majority of electoral support, has several other natural consequences: it leads to long periods of governance without effective opposition, as opposing parties typically receive far fewer seats than their vote count should represent. It also leads to an erosion of checks and balances over power. And it leads to public disenchantment with the consequences of under-representation, which in turn leads to not only less voter involvement, but less candidate/platform promotion, as well.

"...until abolished for political gain in 1956 by the Social Credit Party, Alberta had effective alternate voting systems that were, by Canadian standards, revolutionary. Those included single transferable votes, which let voters in Edmonton and Calgary pick MLAs based on an order of preference, with the remaining percentage of votes over what was required to win transferable to another supported candidate. Ironically, the single transferable vote system is now among more popular modern proposals to amend western democratic systems."

Hear that BC?

Our 160-member Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform got it right. After almost a year studying the various options, including our current first-past-the-post (single member plurality) system, it determined that proportional representation would best address the needs presented to it in thousands of submissions from British Columbians.

Then, after evaluating various proportional representation systems, the members of the Citizens Assembly determined that the Single Transferable Vote delivered the optimum benefit and fairness to voters - which was precisely what the majority of presenters, those not speaking on behalf of political parties, had asked for.

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