UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

STV for BC (single transferable vote for British Columbia) Loenen, Nick


In a representative democracy the people's representatives are expected to do what the people would do if they were present in person. To attain this ideal requires that the legislature in its composition embodies the politically relevant diversity that exists within society, and that the legislature has power to act. These two requirements are prevalent among significant theories of representation, post- Charter court rulings, and the commonly accepted expectations of the people themselves. Typically, the composition of the BC legislature is not representative; and the legislature lacks power to act. The Single Member Plurality electoral system manufactures majorities in the legislature where none exist among the people. Most voters are not represented in the legislature, and the artificial majorities give cabinet undue power. When cabinet has too much power, the concept of responsible government is subverted, MLAs lose their independence, and are beholden to their political party, instead of their constituents. Replacing the Single Member Plurality system with the Single Transferable Vote has the potential to give voters more choice, waste fewer votes, bring greater diversity into the legislature, lessen party discipline, weaken the power of the Premier and cabinet, increase the power of the legislature, restore responsible government, render government more responsive to changing public demands, reconnect government to the people, and give voters power over their representatives. Our electoral system is designed to benefit political parties - not people. Therefore, change will not likely originate with parties and party activists. It must come from the people themselves, aided perhaps by the courts.

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