2005-01-20

More thoughts on "BC's Citizens Assembly recommends STV for plebiscite"

I'm not so sure now. After talking with friends and ruminating over the idea. A Citizen's Assembly has recommended an STV system for electing our unicameral legislature in BC, the vote to be held with the provincial government election in May. I'm having second thoughts about it. The concerns voiced from the northern representatives, that they wanted to "know their specific MLAs" doesn't wash now that I've thought further about it.

I would be happier if they had recommended a mixed-member-proportional system and I think it could have been done in such a way as to allow the "northerners" to "know their MLA" and more importantly, not to be rendered legislatively irrelevant by the far more populous south. Something along the following lines would have done the trick:

  1. Use the current federal riding boundaries as a basis.
  2. For ridings larger than some threshold size, split them in half (make the threshold large enough that this only happens for four or five ├╝ber-rural ridings)
  3. Each voter ranks all the "riding" candidates and votes for one list ("proportional").
  4. "Riding" candidates are elected through STV as proposed.
  5. "List candidates" are sent to Victoria based on popular vote.
I think that would serve all sides better than what is going to be presented to the electorate in May.

The only remaining question is, will eventual "correction" of the system be easier if the current proposal passes now or if it is defeated? The $64,0000,000 question...

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