Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Election

I was going to write about the provincial election yesterday but never got to it. I felt good after I voted. Getting out and having a small say in the future of my province reminds me I live in a democracy.

After reading 'A Fury For God' I have thought a lot about such things. Many of the terrorists involved in 9/11 came from countries that have little if any democracy. How can people who have no rights, or ways to express political frustration, have any consideration of the views or rights of others. This is a vast simplification of the problem but it is a part of it.

I was pleased to read that Kuwait has given women the right to vote. Maybe the Gulf isn't lost to extremism.

One aspect of this election that should have gotten more support from the mainstream parties is changing from a 'First Past The Post' system to a Single Transferable Vote (STV) system. Both the NDP and Liberals were fairly quiet about the issue because they have the most 'to lose': ie - overwhelming majority governments. The Liberals held 77 of 79 seats during the last four years. Where was the opposition that our system was supposed to give us?

People equate proportional governments with countries like Israel and Italy which never seem to have majorities and governments either fall often or make coalitions that can't get things done. STV is a more balanced proportional system.

BC has a history of abrupt swing votes in elections and disparities between popular vote and elected vote. For example: years ago the NDP had 60% of the popular vote and yet lost the election. The Social Credit party won key seats by small margins.

Under an STV system the legislative assembly would have a better representation of parties and regions.

Understanding STV – has a very good explanation of STV and some great links.

Tomorrow we shall see what the future holds for BC.

2 comments:

Joel said...

Nice post. It's been a while since I read your thoughts. Thanks!

LJ said...

I will be candid here - I voted "yes" to the STV referendum question. We can't continue with the way it has been in the past. And the last I heard the return on that STV vote was 57% for. However, I'm told the need 60% to pass it. At least this alerts the government that the people need/want/must have change. Regrading the Liberals re-appointment to leading this province - I'm disappointed. But I would have been disappointed with NDP too. It's hard to vote for a party you like when all the parties seem to be evil incarnate. But that's just my jaded side talking this morning. :-)LJ