other articles in the BC-STV debate please click
here and also see NoSTV.org
False Claims about BC-STV
should be rejected because its multiple-MLA electoral areas
decrease accountability, its complex rules for counting votes
are not fair, and allegations made by its proponents are not
pro-STV folks have a new list on their website of benefits
that they claim BC-STV would deliver; unfortunately, they
are wrong on every point. The allegations listed below are
cut and pasted directly from stv.ca and they appear in the
same order as they appear in the scroll box on that site.
More power for voters and less for political insiders.
In Ireland political parties are more powerful. On one Irish
political blog, a commentator wrote: "I wonder if
the national exec elections at the FF Ard Fheis will actually
be a chance for party members to voice an opinion on the state
of the party and the country or the usual exercise in time
serving." Another said: "It may well be such an
opportunity - as councillors begin to believe they will lose
their seats, they will be less inclined to shut up and take
directions, which may well cause serious breakdowns in internal
To reclaim democracy for voters.
The Citizens' Assembly acknowledged that our current first-past-the-post
voting system is fair (hear the tape of their afternoon
session on November 27, 2004 - MP3
format, 14Mb). Many believe that allowing someone's sixth
preference to trump another voter's first preference is contrary
to the principle of one-person-one-vote, and thus is anti-democratic
Fairness between voters and between parties.
It is hard to understand what that means, but there is an
anti-political party bias that runs through much of the pro-STV
material. In the few places STV is used, political parties
are alive and well, and more powerful than they are in B.C.
More effective Local Representation.
With its large multiple-MLA electoral areas that combine from
2 to 7 of the current single member constituencies, STV replaces
local representation with regional representation. Many communities
currently served by a local MLA would be represented by one
from another community under STV.
Accountability at elections & during 4 year term of office.
We have accountability at election every four years under
the current system, but STV would decrease accountability
by making it more difficult to defeat any particular MLA since
that member could find the minimal support needed to be re-elected
anywhere in the larger region. Where STV is used incumbents
enjoy a re-election record of 80% or more; we have higher
turnover under our current system.
Having an MLA you actually voted for.
That is only true in a trivial sense because most voters support
one of the two major parties and under STV MLAs would be elected
from both parties in almost all of the multi-MLA electoral
areas. It is not assured that third party candidates would
enjoy such success.
Not having to vote strategically.
It is difficult to measure strategic voting in any system,
but under STV voters must still decide how to rank candidates
and what that means for fractional vote transfers - that's
strategic, but much more complicated.
Better representation of women and diversity.
In 2007 a record number of women were elected to Ireland's
Dail, 22 out of 166 TDs (13.3%). In 2005, BC elected 18
women out of 79 MLAs (22.8%), down from 28% in 1996 and 24%
in 2001. Claims about diversity are difficult to substantiate
because the places where STV is used are very homogeneous
compared to B.C.
Having real choice and being able to vote across party lines.
There's real choice now and 25 parties fielded candidates
in the 2005 election. With STV only 14 parties fielded candidates
in Ireland. B.C. has more choice.
Being able to choose between candidates from the same party.
That's what happens in nomination meetings, and that's where
the key decisions would still be made with STV. In Ireland
the central parties do not allow their local constituency
associations to run full slates of candidates; that's enormous
power for the central party and less choice for voters.
Real elections in every district, with no "Safe Seats".
Incumbents are safer under STV than they are with our current
Stable public policy to help investment & reduce uncertainty.
Who are they kidding! STV is more likely to produce coalition
governments which increase uncertainty.