BC-STV Means Double The Work for a Typical Voter » not good

Here are a few sticking points for me

  • A voter has a lot more work to do under STV. In the past I had 1 vote for 1 MLA from a list of 2-5 candidates. Which usually meant that I’d learn about two of them, and select one.

    In my STV district there would be 4 MLAs. That means that I’ve got to learn a minimum of 4 candidates. ( That translates into a minimum of double the work! ) Most likely triple the work with learning about 6 candidates to choose 4. This more work is a non-starter for me … I also think it will result in less people voting.

  • How do the 2-7 MLAs share duties in a district? It feels like they’ll be more accountable to their party and province than their region (ie me). If the region is homogenous this is ok, but if not …

Where Am I Now?

The more I think about it the more I lean towards “No”.

Having to become comfortable with significantly more candidates is a non-starter. Couple that with the insecurity of not knowing where the MLAs priorities lie doesn’t help.

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14 Responses to BC-STV Means Double The Work for a Typical Voter » not good

  1. Wayne Smith says:

    STV voting has been used in Ireland since 1922. The Irish seem to be able to deal with it, and indeed have voted twice in referenda to keep it.

    The whole “STV is too complicated” argument boils down to a suggestion that BC voters are just too stupid to deal with a fair voting system, so they will have to put up with an unfair one. Now we have a new wrinkle – they are also too lazy.

    I don’t think BC voters are stupid enough to fall for this argument.

    • Iain Verigin says:

      I did not say it was too complicated. I said that I would need to spend much more time learning about who the 4 MLAs would be in my district would be versus learning about 1. You seem to agree with me on this point.

  2. Wayne Smith says:

    If you have 2-7 MLAs, they all represent you, and they are all accountable to you. Here’s the STV bonus – one of them is probably your first or second choice, unlike the current system where your MLA is probably somebody you voted against.

  3. I too didn’t like the idea of making tons of choice while voting, like at the municipal level. But with STV, the number of choices that we have to make is not very high. Vote for 4-5 candidates and after that, ranking candidates becomes mathematically almost irrelevant. And you always have the option of just voting for just one candidate.

    Good luck with your reflexion!

    • Iain Verigin says:

      the voting for only 1 person is a very interesting case. It can lead to some weird results. Especially if that vote is for the front runner. This vote doesn’t not get transferred, it gets discarded. It’s like not voting.

      This case effectively lowers the voter turnout down the totem pole making it much easier for less popular candidates to get a seat.

  4. Wayne Smith says:

    “the voting for only 1 person is a very interesting case. It can lead to some weird results. Especially if that vote is for the front runner. This vote doesn’t not get transferred, it gets discarded. It’s like not voting.”

    In other words, it’s exactly like voting under the current system.

  5. Wayne Smith says:

    No, really. Voters who can’t be bothered ranking candidates can just put an X beside their favourite candidate, and their vote will count exactly the way it used to, ie probably not at all.

  6. Wayne Smith says:

    Voter turnout is a complex issue. There are lots of factors that influence turnout, such as the weather, and whether or not there is a charismatic candidate or a hot-button issue. Any of these is probably more important on a given day than the voting system in terms of turnout.

    There is also a world-wide trend towards lower voter turnout, even in places that have proportional voting, and nobody seems to know exactly what that’s all about.

    However, there is plenty of evidence that proportional voting, in general, on average, and in the long run, gives you a boost in voter turnout, perhaps in the range of 7%-15%.

    And why not? Under the current system, most voters have the feeling that their vote doesn’t make a difference. Unfortunately, they’re right.

    With proportional voting, the people you vote for are more likely to get elected, and that leads to higher voter satisfaction with voting, with politicians, with government, and ultimately with public policy.

  7. DC Dodgson says:

    What concerns me with the STV is the information coming directly from Elections B.C. which is non-partisan. They say , that more often than not The STV will end up with a minority government. Do we really need more elections, caused by minority government? Every election caused by a minority government is a total waste of taxpayers dollars and as we have seen with the Harper government, time spent by politicians argueing about chit , when they should be running the country efficiently.

    I say vote no to STV.

    • Iain Verigin says:

      * the “more minority governments” makes sense based on all the info I’ve read.
      * for example, currently, if a riding has A 41% of vote, B 39%, and C 20%. That means that A won with 41% of vote, or that the majority of people, 59%, did not vote for A. This is how majority governments can occur with less than 50% of the total vote. It is how the system is set up. It is just the way it is.
      ** The STV system is an attempt to make representation more proportional so that more B’s ( and even C’s) would get in. Thus it should be much harder for a majority to exist.
      ** the item that previous commenter’s enlightened me on is that in the current system the majority of voters do not vote for a winner. The STV system should provide a means of more voters getting a winner. It is a very interesting point.

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