Today is the day. Voters in British Columbia elect a provincial Legislative Assembly. I don’t hear many people who are happy about the choices on offer. You can vote for the candidate of major party #1 or #2, but you probably didn’t get a say in choosing either one from the pool of possible candidates. You don’t get a way to say “yes” to the party but “no” to the candidate, or vice versa. You can be pretty confident that, whichever is elected, they will go to Victoria with no particular incentive to stand up for your riding to their party leadership. They are more likely to stand up for their leadership against you. You can vote for the candidate of minor party #3 or #4, or an independent, with a sinking feeling that you are throwing away your vote — or worse yet, splitting your side of the vote so that the party you dislike the most walks away with victory.
Chances are, the number of seats elected won’t match the proportion of votes cast. Chances are, as many as 60% of voters will find out they have no-one in Victoria who got their votes and answers to them.
There are better ways to run a democracy than this. The improvement on offer now is called BC-STV. It will be easy for voters to use, and gives a way out of the problems with the current system. Today is the day when British Columbia voters can adopt it, in the Referendum on Electoral Reform being held today.
I support BC-STV. I hope that you will support it too — either by voting for it today, if you can, or by helping make a reform like BC-STV happen in your own jurisdiction.