Discrimination? Wards are not the best answer

November 27, 2008

Kashmir Dhaliwal is correct. Vancouver’s block-voting electoral system does
discriminate against ethnic and political minorities, and Vancouver does
need a ward system. However we must be careful not to substitute one broken
system for another that is almost as bad: The FPTP system we use
provincially.   FPTP recognizes geographically concentrated diversity (such as
Quebec separatists), but still discriminates against all ethnic and
political minorities that are geographically dispersed, so that half of us
are left without a representative that we voted for.

Recognizing the obvious flaws with our FPTP voting system, provincial
politicians entrusted a Citizens’ Assembly of 160 of our fellow citizens with
designing a new voting system for BC: BC-STV.  BC-STV is a proportional
system which uses larger ridings that elect multiple MLAs to make sure
almost everyone has a representative they voted for.

If we really want to take representation seriously municipally, we should
emulate the BC-STV system by adopting multi-member wards that use STV.
Better yet, we could entrusting a municipal Citizens’ Assembly to custom design a new
electoral system for Vancouver.

Provincially voters will have a second chance to reach the 60% threshold and
pass the BC-STV system recommended by the Citizens’ Assembly in a referendum
on May 12th, 2009. If it passes it will help provide the impetus and a model
for much-needed reforms municipally and federally as well.

By : Bruce Krayenhoff

In response to this article in the Georgia Straight:

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