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Video: B.C.’s Electoral System: True or False?

    Editorial & Opinions, Governance & Politics    November 16, 2018

Still sitting on your mail-in ballot to vote in B.C.’s electoral reform referendum? Still not sure how to vote? Feeling the November 30th deadline looming?

This video should help, by offering valuable facts about our First Past The Post system, exposing misleading myths and misconceptions.

Since 2002, I’ve been keen on electoral reform. Adriane Carr started a petition to change B.C.’s electoral system to Mixed Member Proportional (MMP). I signed up, determined to get 100s of signatures, back before the Internet made it easy.

I agreed with her reasoning, but found the MMP system alarming. It has two ballots, the first one the same old FPTP, with its strategic voting and skewy, screwy results, and a second ballot for parties, to give them their “fair” share of seats won by the very system that needed replacing. Where were the demos, or people, if parties mattered more, with their deep-pocketed supporters and divisive politics?

My readings about electoral systems began. In 2004-05, I avidly followed the B.C. Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform and gave input. They chose the BC-STV PR system, because built right into it was fairness to voters over tacked-on fairness to parties.

I was thrilled and volunteered untold hours, working with Assembly alumni, doing mock FPTP and BC-STV elections with groups of all sorts, from schools to seniors’ homes. We “lost” the referendum, if 40%+1 is taken as the “majority” needed to quash it. What nonsense.

In 2009, the nonsense repeated. This time, the No side spent its $1-million from the B.C. government on advertisements warning about the evils of BC-STV. The Yes side had to spend its $1-million on educating, as well as advertising, a fight so lopsided that the second referendum failed significantly.

This time around, the No side is repeating its mantras and fear mongering. The Yes side is looking good in various polls, still too close to call, but I’m hopeful.

My contribution to the 2018 ProRep campaign is this video. Some facts in it may surprise both sides of the debate. Enjoy! Here’s to democracy, or elections that put fairness to voters first.

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