Thursday, May 19, 2005

BC Politics as Seen from Inside the Beltway

This blog is probably the only coverage that the 2005 BC election will get in the DC area. I actually do not have much to say. The NDP got about 40% of the vote, just like they always do. The Green Party did not manage to elect anyone (as usual) and Social Credit (currently going under the name "Liberals") won with a little less than half of the vote. This is not much different than any other BC election in the past 52 years. At least the public-transit-hating NDP did not win the election. What is interesting about the election is that the voters soundly rejected the first-past-the-post voting system. Slightly more than 57% of the voters voted to replace it with a single transferable vote (STV) system that about 17 people on the planet understand. Unfortunately it needed to get 60% of the vote to be adopted for future elections. If the proposed new system was not so incredibly opaque it would have easily raced past that mark and BC would have an electoral system that actually produced results that match the way people vote. STV is a fundamentally good idea, but it is far too complex. Let's hope that the next step in BC is not the STV supporters trying to convince another 3% of the voters, but that the people who want electoral reform throw their enthusiasm behind a more intuitive system, such as the mixed proportional representation system that has worked so well in other parts of the world. Electoral reform can easily become a reality in BC, if the people who are working for it are willing to move on from the results of this election.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Hey Steve!

Cool blog, and not a waste of space, since it's not a bad way of finding out what's up with you.

Sorry you weren't here for the election. As it turns out, I can explain STV to anyone in less than 5 minutes, and had to do so many times as the toll free number came our house. There are lots of good explanations on the web, and the Citizen's Assembly (regular joes, with no benefit of technical writers or astrophysicists, to my knowledge)supported it by over 80% because it works for BC in a way they could not make MMP do. Believe me, they tried with both. Want to know more? Check for their side of the story. I actually think it's more compelling than the story of boring ol' Yes campaigners like Bernard and I