STV system for voters

February 18, 2009

Bruce Krayenhoff’s letter to the editor, originally published at: http://www.bclocalnews.com/kootenay_rockies/trailrosslandnews/opinion/letters/39751053.html

Re: Voting systems explained, February 10, 2009

In this article Bill Tieleman is quoted as saying “Why would B.C. change its way of electing members of the legislature to one favoured in just a few places?,” referring to the fact that STV is only used nationally in three countries (although it is used municipally in several more).

The answer is that, whereas most voting systems are designed by politicians to work for politicians, BC-STV is a voting system designed by our fellow voters in the Citizens’ Assembly to work for voters!

The reason why the Citizens’ Assembly was set up in the first place was that politicians and, by extension, influential members of their party such as Bill Tieleman, have an obvious conflict of interest in designing the voting system they will be running under.

Many politicians prefer voting systems with safe ridings like our current FPTP voting system or with largely closed party lists, both of which guarantee most politicians easy re-election.

This is understandable, however most voters like voting systems that allow them to individually hold every politician accountable, and which force politicians to compete to provide the best representation possible.

Regrettably, these are not compatible.

So the reason why we should choose a voting system favoured in few places (by politicians) is that BC-STV is a voting system designed by voters to work for voters!

I think this is a very rare opportunity, and I for one shall be putting voter interests first by voting for BC-STV on May 12, 2009.

If you are interested in learning more about BC-STV and the Citizens’ Assembly that designed it, there is a great 11min video posted at stv.ca.

Bruce Krayenhoff

Vancouver

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