Saturday, May 28, 2005

STV: So Thoroughly Vexed

It's been almost two weeks since the BC-STV (British Columbia Single Transferable Vote) referendum and folks are still talking about it. Personally, I don't think most people even understand how it works. I must admit that I haven't really taken the time to fully comprehend it myself.

I do understand that it allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. The question is, how many voters are informed enough to actually have a strong opinion about a number of candidates? Most voters make their decision based on the number of campaign signs they pass on the way to the mall. How can they be expected to evaluate a number of candidates?

To illustrate my point, let's look at the referendum itself. Polls indicated that approximately 85% of the eligible voters didn't understand how the STV worked. 96% of voters, however, completed referendum ballots. We came within 4% of the votes required to adopt a new election system that almost no one understands. That seems like something that would happen in the US.

Let's keep our traditional system for now. At least we know how it works.


TODAY'S HEADLINES

Chinese railroad worker honoured
A former Chinese railroad worker who came to Canada in 1881 and worked on building the CPR has been honoured with an interchange in Kamloops.
Cheng Ging Butt represents all the Chinese workers who came to Canada more than 100 years ago and worked hard to build the railroad.

Victoria diocese loses suit
A Washington state jury has slapped the Catholic diocese of Victoria with an $8.2-million US judgment in a lawsuit involving a shaky land deal and one of its former bishops.

Buono's problems just beginning
Dave Dickenson and Casey Printers had just finished explaining the merits of a two-headed quarterbacking monster for the first time this season, when Wally Buono walked into the office of Lions president Bob Ackles to deliver a report on the proceedings.


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