No to STV?

After some looking around, I finally found a "No to STV" web site when someone at work posted it to an internal bulletin board. I hadn't seen, yet, what the electoral areas proposed under STV were going to be so when there was a link at nostv.ca with that label, I decided to take a look at it and saw what was, in effect, the grossest attempt to mis-inform that I have ever seen. Again and again, the phrase, "but only One Vote per Voter".

Now, admittedly, that phrase is true in substance, but given that each person's vote under STV is a set of preferences, that one vote has a much broader reach than the image that phrase alone conjures up. But it would be seen as patently misleading to anyone who has read the STV materials. Of course there's only one vote per voter but if you get to designate at least as many preferences as there will be sitting members from your district, the phrase "but only One Vote per Voter" in this context is a red herring.

I looked around to see who was endorsing this "No STV" position and among them was Dr. John Redekop, a political science professor whose common sense has impressed me less than his learnedness. My point of closest contact with him was as guest lecturer to an upper-class interdisciplinary course run in 1983/1984 which focused on responding to Marxism. The course felt anachronistic at the time, even though the fall of the Berlin Wall was still five years out. I was only just aware at the time of the democratic movements in Central America that were being demonized as Marxism in disguise and only barely aware, after events in Grenada (for which the available information still looks highly politicized), that the US might be unleashing covert power against them. Days of innocence, indeed. With 26 years of perspective, I now see that the he was essentially carrying water for American Religious Neo-conservatism more than anything else -- and in a course required for graduation, how ethical is that, anyways? Still, I felt myself in the presence of a dinosaur even then.

Looking further at No-STV's pages, there was a link back to the government's referendum office which I tried. It was borked in a way that wasn't immediately obvious, so I was taking that as evidence of further dinosaurism. It actually isn't, though. In this case it's the government's pages that were messed up -- now it looks okay but maybe that's an intelligent cache between hither and yon. I'm confused. This link works and re-writes itself to look like the one posted by No-STV, so that part, as out of touch as it appeared, was really not part of the problem.

Still, if the best opposition they can muster against STV relies on such a serious level of under-information, perhaps this is a referendum on how literate British Columbians are, and not on the merits of STV vs. FPTP at all. The rest of the information is essentially more FUD about how it won't work and it won't be possible to change it back later. Poppycock. If it turns out to be such a bad thing, the government would have to respond to the people's rage in at leats as timely a fashion as it responded to solid interest from four years ago in re-posting the question this year.

How disappointing. I was hoping there'd be something more substantive to understand on the "No" side and not just FUD propaganda.

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