your vote really count?
was the headline in a North
Shore News story on the referendum question to be put
before voters on May 12th. Think about objectivity when reading
a News report of the February 18th debate on voting systems,
the News wrote:
isn't your typical political expert. Petite and curvy, the
young mother who grew up on Vancouver Island barely reaches
past the clear plastic podium in the library's meeting room,
but when she speaks she does so with conviction and gusto.
Her chin-length, sand-coloured curls bounce as she turns
her head addressing the audience on both sides."
it came to describing Field's opponent, the News wrote:
is taking the con side of tonight's debate, looking very
much the part of the political pundit in his suit and tie.
The former MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale is one of only
two NDP MLAs to have ever been elected on the North Shore."
is blatantly sexist to describe Shoni Field as "Petit
and curvy". I don't know what Field's hair style or my
suit has to do with the merits of changing the rules used
to elect MLAs.
the February 18th debate sponsored by Langara
Dialogues (which will be broadcast
on Shaw Cable at 4:00 PM on February 28th), I said there
are three reasons to reject BC-STV.
multiple-member constituencies: decrease accountability,
make it more difficult for constituents to have personal
contact and increase campaign costs.
the complex vote counting rules for STV are considered
unfair by many voters; someone's third preference should
not be allowed to trump another person's first preference.
I argued that most of the positions put forward in support
of BC-STV are misleading
at best and false at worse. For example, they argue
that political parties would be weaker under STV, but where
STV is used, political parties are more powerful than they
are in B.C.
foremost argument about the North Shore is that voters on
the North Shore have not embraced New Democrats; Colin Gabelmann
and I are the only two to have won for the NDP in the past
50 years. Under BC-STV the North Shore would be one big electoral
area with 4 MLAs where it only takes 20% of the vote to be
elected. If we look at the total vote by party in 2005 for
the combined four North Shore constituencies, we get Liberal
55.0%, NDP 27.1%, Green 15.8% and others 2.0%; therefore,
it is highly likely that if BC-STV passes the NDP can count
on usually winning one of the four seats allocated to the
North Shore. It will be interesting to see if Liberals on
the North Shore embrace a change in how we vote that will
virtually guarantee that the NDP will win one of the seats
they've traditionally held.