To STV or not to STV? That is the question facing British Columbians as they head to the ballot boxes on Tuesday.
The current electoral process in B.C. is first-past-the-post (FPTP), a single-winner voting system where the candidate with the most votes wins all.
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The B.C.-STV (Single Transferable Vote) is a system of preferential voting in which voters rank their choice of candidates in order of most to least preferred.
It could mean fewer ridings over larger geographical areas and bigger populations, but could enhance the electability of fringe parties.
Adriane Carr, deputy leader of the Green Party of Canada and an STV supporter said it should encourage greater voter turnout, which hit a low of 55 per cent in the 2001 election.
“It’s a system of proportional representation and people would have a better chance to have their vote count,” she said.
Bill Tieleman, president of the NO B.C.-STV Society and long-time political commentator, disagrees.
“The STV fractionalizes your vote, which then gets a transferred value and is redistributed,” he said. “It’s just a confusing process.”
The Mandate for the Citizens Assembly believes that minority or coalition governments in an STV system lead to “compromised, mediocre decisions.”
Carr, like many STV supporters, said that it could fix the problem of Canadian democracy.
“Having more coalitions and co-operative politics could attract women to get involved in politics,” she said.
“There’s also a better chance of Green candidates getting elected, which will be effective in starting serious discussions about environmental initiatives.”