Saturday, February 25, 2006

Less than 1000 days

In just under 1000 days we will get a second chance to vote for changing how we elect our MLAs.

February 19th was the 1000 day mark to the referendum.

The recent federal election once again highlights the need for changing our voting system ASAP. The number of people that choose to vote for someone they did not want instead of the person they wanted was much too high. For people to be marking a single X in front of their second least favorite choice leads to crazy results.

Let us look at David Emerson. I believe that in 2004 and 2006 he gained a lot of right wing vote because he was the candidate most likely to defeat the NDP's candidate Ian Waddell. He is also a candidate that is really a conservative and not a liberal and thereby took in much of the right wing vote.

The problem is that with out system we can not look at the result and see what the vote means. How do we measure the strategic voting? How do we measure the support that is for the party or for the party leader? We can not.

Thankfully there is a voting system that lets us do this - STV.

STV first of all ends all strategic voting so this is no longer an issue. STV is also created in such way to give a proportional result, so the party will elect their most popular candidates in proportion ot the vote they recieved. A five member STV riding for Vancouver would have elected a conservative.

STV also places a much higher onus on the representative to represent the wishes of the riding.

It is not possible to predict how Canada would have voted with STV, but I suspect that if STV were used the results would come out something like this:

Conservatives 119
Liberals 92
NDP 51
BQ 34
Green 6
Independent 4

With a government needing 155 votes, the Conservatives could work with the NDP or Liberals or the BQ with some independents.

The BQ would be much less of a force in the house as the fourth place party.

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