Monday, May 4, 2009


In BC, on May 12th, we are having a general election at the provincial level of government. I am struggling with my apathy around that...

But, what has grabbed my interest is that we are also having a referendum on electoral reform. BCers will be asked which electoral system British Columbia should use to elect members to the Legislative Assembly... the current First-Past-the-Post system (FPTP) or the single transferable vote system (BC-STV).

I've done my head in, reading about the pros and cons. I'm very much inclined to vote for the STV.

I'm blogging about this because I'm wondering if people here in BC and in different parts of the world have experiences, feedback, opinions, etc about the electoral systems used in their elections, especially if STV is used.


  1. Wahey, luck you Ms TB. I'm a fan of the STV system, a version of which is used for elections to the Scottish Parliament and now council elections in Scotland too.

    It is a bit complicated but has never produced a Scottish Government with an overall majority of members from a single party (admittedly in only 2 elections since the Parliament was instigated). Which i think is a great thing.

    None of the parties complain that they are misrepresented in the Parliament because the number of seats has so far been reasonably proportional to the votes cast.

    If STV was in play at Westminster, i'd maybe not be so keen to get out of the UK (that's a bit sweeping, but it would help).

    I never like to tell people in a far off land how i think they should vote but erm.....if i was you in BC, i know what i'd be doing.

    Gaun yirsel.

    PS what's a two-four?

  2. PPS correction - there have been 3 elections to the current Scottish Parliament. None of them produced an overall majority for one pary.

  3. PPS we actually have a Mixed Member PR system but it does involve preference voting and it does seem to work.

    OK, i do go on a bit. I'm done.

  4. lol!

    Thanks for that, Naldo. :-)

    Is a Mixed Member PR very different from STV?

    And whadda koinkidink, I've just watched a short vid with SMP Tricia Marwick discussing the STV in BC...

    You Scots get around!

    A two-four (pronounced TOO-fer) is a 24 bottle case of beer... more necessary than a tent for the young redneck crowd when off camping in the woods. And 'May Two-Four' is the 24th of May - the first long weekend of the summer, the first TOO-fer weekend. Sophisticated, aint it?

  5. I thought the main problem with any proportional representation system was that a government rarely had a large majority, and that there were often many parties. This leads to weak government. First past the post systems can be rigged by gerrymandering but in the main they mean that there are two main parties. Good government depends on there being a strong opposition in power to police the governing party.
    There, that's my 2 pennyworth

  6. Ahem, i'm mos def no expert and would have to refer you to this

    for info on the system in Scotland. Straight STV is simpler to understand but i'd reiterate that the number of seats per party in the Scottish Parliament does match well with the proportion of votes cast so i approve.

    Mog, you're right about the FPTP system favouring a 2 party state. It does tend to bring stable and all-powerful governments - that's one of the problems that i perceive with the UK and one of the reasons i favour independence for Scotland.

    I think the UK needs a right good shake.

    Cheers for that info on the two fers, Ms TB. I've been known to quaff the odd beer masel on camping trips.