Why is the BC-STV Referendum So Important for Students?

January 27, 2009

First of all, research strongly suggests that more representative voting systems do result in better government, so students like everyone else will benefit from better, more stable and more accountable government if BC-STV is implemented.

However, there are a few reasons why BC-STV stands to be particularly beneficial for students:

First of all, voter turnout is about 9% higher in countries with proportional representation, and higher voter turnout generally means more even voter turnout, which means that students and young adults, being a low-voting demographic, are likely to turnout in substantially greater numbers. This will be a good thing in itself and it will force politicians to pay more attention to student issues and give the student voice considerably more clout in the legislature.

Secondly, being young and in a place of learning and ideas, many students would like more than two similar choices at the ballot box.  Indeed, if young people were the only people voting, the Green Party would be one of the major parties, but right now students who support the Green Party either waste their votes or vote strategically.

Finally, research suggests the implementation of proportional representation results in better environmental performance and lower unemployment, to name just a couple areas which matter to many students.

I have heard a number of students say ‘I think this referendum is even more important than the provincial election itself,’ and I have to agree. With a different party in power, we will see some change for the next four to eight years (i.e. until we vote them out again), but with a better voting system we will see lasting change for generations.  Plus, a beachhead in BC will make the adoption of fairer voting systems throughout the rest of North America much easier to realize!

By: Bruce Krayenhoff

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2 Responses to “Why is the BC-STV Referendum So Important for Students?”


  1. […] by the BC Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.  As we have discussed in our post ‘Why is the BC-STV Referendum So Important for Students?,’ we think this referendum is even more important for students than the election, and we hope […]


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