Friday, May 15, 2009

Crushing defeat for Single Transferable Vote (STV) in British Columbia

61% of the voters gave a thumbs down for STV, Single Transferrable Vote, a ranking method. Voters intead preferred the traditional election method known as FPTP, or First Past the Post. Fair Vote is the group pushing STV in Canada, and pushing election methods they label IRV/Instant runoff voting - in the United States. British Columbia just dodged a bullet, where STV and IRV go, computerized voting soon follows. The NO STV campaign was won fairly, the provincial government funded the opponents and proponents of STV, giving each $500,000 for their campaigns.

NEWS RELEASE Tuesday May 12, 2009
NO STV pleased and relieved that Single Transferable Vote proposal defeated in May 12 provincial referendum

VANCOUVER – NO STV, the group opposing the Single Transferable Vote, is pleased and relieved that British Columbia voters have rejected the STV proposal in the May 12 provincial referendum on electoral systems.
NO STV President Bill Tieleman said tonight that voters have spoken clearly in the second referendum on the STV.

As of 11 pm Tuesday, the results stood at 61 per cent in favour of maintaining the current First Past The Post system.

“NO STV said throughout this referendum campaign that the Single Transferable Vote was a bad idea for British Columbia and tonight voters agreed,” Tieleman said. “Our strategy was to give voters as much information as possible about the problems with STV and let them decide for themselves – that worked.”

NO STV Secretary-Treasurer David Schreck said the vote marks an end to debate about STV.

“Whether the province continues with our current First Past The Post electoral system or considers other alternatives, it is clear that STV is no longer an option,” Schreck said.

Shreck said NO STV has no position as an organization on future discussion of electoral reform but that some of its supporters believe there are other systems better than either STV or FPTP.

“It is now up to the provincial government and opposition to listen to British Columbians and respond democratically and openly to their views,” he said.
NO STV Vice-President Rick Dignard gave credit to British Columbians for BC-STV for running a strong campaign and encouraging public debate about our electoral process.

“Regardless of the rejection of STV, this referendum has energized discussion of our democratic institutions and that can only be positive,” said Dignard, a former BC Citizens Assembly representative for the Sunshine Coast who disagreed with the Assembly’s majority recommendation of STV in 2004.
NO STV’s other directors include former Social Credit cabinet minister Bruce Strachan and Vision Vancouver city councilor Andrea Reimer, a former Green Party Vancouver school trustee.

Other active members include former provincial deputy minister Bob Plecas, former NDP cabinet minister Anne Edwards, former Citizens Assembly member Jyoti Gill, Trinity Western University political science professor John Redekop and business owner Paul Gill.