STV passes 60 percent threshold in two ridings

Electoral reform appears dead in the water, after just 38.74 percent of B.C. voters endorsed single transferable vote in the May 12 referendum.

A cursory glance at Elections B.C.’s preliminary results reveals some interesting trivia for poli-sci geeks.

The two ridings where the pro-STV vote reached 60 percent were Victoria-Beacon Hill (61.33 percent) and Vancouver-Mount Pleasant (61.58 percent).

These ridings are, respectively, home to re-elected NDP Leader Carole James and Jenny Kwan, who is currently the longest continuously serving NDP MLA. While the voters in those ridings have embraced incumbents, they’ve also voted to support voting reform.

Had Premier Gordon Campbell decreed that a simple majority (or 50 percent plus one) would suffice as a provincewide threshold for approval, only five more ridings would have met that threshold—Vancouver-Fairview (51.07 percent), Vancouver-Hastings (52.64 percent); Vancouver-Point Grey (52.23 percent), Vancouver-West End (53 percent), and Victoria-Swan Lake (55.83 percent).

These ridings include some of the safest in the province.

Comments (14) Add New Comment
Mark Crowley
Its not about whether the seat is safe or not, don't you find it interesting that only urban ridings passed a majority on STV? Any ideas why that would be? One possibility is the enourmous grassroots campaign by regular people talking to voters on the streets and door to door. The strongest parts of the campaign were in vancouver and victoria in terms of number of people who came out. Perhaps only in these places was there enough visibility to counteract the negative blanket advertising run by those trying to maintain the status quo. Its a sad day for democracy, but we can't give up. Maybe STV won't be the answer, maybe BC won't make the breakthrough, but Canada needs electoral reform, and don't let the party insiders and media hacks tell you people say no to change. They said no to this change, but change is still needed. http://tinyurl.com/canadiansforchange
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Morty
"Perhaps only in [urban areas] was there enough visibility to counteract the negative blanket advertising run by those trying to maintain the status quo"? What blanket advertising? The only advertising I saw on the issue was in favour of the single transferable vote. I saw no evidence whatsoever of a coordinated campaign against it. Yesterday's result was not one of lopsided promotion; it was a flat-out rejection of the STV on a widespread basis, suggesting that perhaps electoral reform isn't the hot-button issue that poli-sci geeks make it out to be.
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Leanne L.
Mark Crowley:

You might want to reread and actually open the preliminary results link. The author writes "a cursory glance", which means hasty or rapid glance and without examining the details. And everything after that made no sense.

Take a look to actually see which ridings shot down the STV and consider the demographics of those areas.

You really don't have to be a geek to figure this out. And I hardly consider political scientists as geeks.
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Dale
I agree with Morty. Other than a few TV adds most of the advertising and tweets I saw supported STV. Until a few polls came out saying there wasn't support I thought it would pass. It is interesting the adds didn't seems to have an impact on the vote. Most blogs and pundits seem to support STV with only a couple against. I honestly felt the no side ran a terrible campaign.
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AJ
After seeing the outcome of the Alberta Progressive Conservative vote in 2006 I am not convinced that preferential voting is the answer. The man who won was in third place after the first ballot, 14,503 votes behind first place.

The top three people from the first vote went into another round of voting. Because neither of them got to the 50 plus 1 percent mark the third place candidate had his "second choice" votes distributed between the top two.

The result ended up being that the person who finished third after the first round, and was everybodies second choice in the second round, ended up winning the vote and became leader of the party. In turn he also became the preimer of Alberta because Klien had stepped down.

I am not a ploitical scientist and I have only started to look into different methods of voting but the way things unfolded in Alberta three years ago kind of shocked me.
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Matthew Burrows
Leanne L."

"The author writes "a cursory glance", which means hasty or rapid glance and without examining the details. And everything after that made no sense."

I can accept the first part of your comment, but what do you mean all the rest of what I wrote makes no sense? If it's so simplistic an analysis surely it is pretty simple in its conclusions.

All I wanted to show was that the pro-STV vote tally only actually passed 60 percent in two ridings and only passed 50 percent in seven. It's a simple analysis, but just shows what happened...

And geek is not meant as an insult. Geeks are learned.
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stuart
Perhaps urban ridings embraced STV because with 5-7 members there was an element of proportionality to them, but with rural ridings of 2-4 members there is no proportionality and so they get stuck with huge areas where the members will most likely come from the largest town or city and then no member at all representing the rest of them. STV lost because it was a BAD system. It is a simple as that.
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mynalee johnstone
There was too much negative advertising. I saw amongst all the explaining videos ONE that made it so simple that a first grader could understand.
It was better to try it than to out and out reject it. What a rejection!
On SaltSpring Island, all the polls passed it. I saw one poll with 70% yes.
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Leanne L.
Matthew Burrows:

I'm sorry, I'm not following your point here.

You initially wrote: "Had Premier Gordon Campbell decreed that a simple majority (or 50 percent plus one) would suffice as a provincewide threshold for approval, only FIVE MORE ridings would have met that threshold..."

Then you say: "All I wanted to show was that the pro-STV vote tally only actually passed 60 percent in two ridings and only passed 50 percent in seven. It's a simple analysis, but just shows what happened..."

What are you alluding to? It is required that the STV garners 60% of voters' approval; in addition, 50%+1 must come from 60% of the 85 ridings. IOW: 60% of all votes (which it did not receive) and 50%+1 in at least 51 districts (in which 9 ridings don't even come close to).

Sadly, the preliminary results have since been pulled down from the site. So I can't verify much of the results.

Lastly, scholars are learned; geeks are brilliant but introverted individuals. Usually the terms applies to computer nerd types, which now include the connotation of "loser" because they are socially inept. And when I say that political scientists are hardly geeks, I meant to say that they aren't exactly geniuses. (Just semantics.)
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Matthew Burrows
Best that we leave it there Leanne. I think I know what you're getting at, but my comments were all aimed at the 60 percent overall approval threshold. I did not mean to confuse things, but was simply looking at the STV approval in each riding and basing it on the 60 percent overall threshold needed, rather than the 50%+1 in 60% of the 85 ridings, which is another issue.
Cool, thanks for the input...
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Chipmunk
I think that the name 'STV' sucked bigtime! It sounds like SCTV - a little too mickymouse for an election and didn't mean anything.

When I read the leaflet describing the old system and the STV proposal, it was TOTALLY AMBIGUOUS, made no sense, and was a waste of time. Somehow it looked like Surrey and New West already had STV, but I couldn't study it any longer because it was clear to me that the LEAFLET WAS DESIGNED TO CONFUSE. As was the video on the website. Looked very confusing to me, and I am ALL FOR ELECTORAL REFORM. I voted for it anyway because I suspect the confusion was created on purpose.

What was wrong with the old model and name 'Equal Representation' that was shown before?
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Bobcaygeon
I was wondering if the safe seat thing was actually a factor after reading this, so I just went and graphed it out. http://bobcaygeon.wordpress.com/
Seems like it really didn't have a discernible effect. Though the rural-urban thing was definitely a factor, and I'm going to do another graph for that.
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AKBaker
If people are not certain about change then they will stick with the status quo. Many people have trouble understanding STV. They voted against it. I voted for it. What we have at the present time is not working. The same can be said about the election results. Many voters were uncertain about the NDP and so we have a Liberal government. I decided there was no good choice and voted for the communist party. The Liberals are not capable of looking after my province, and the NDP are not capable of looking after my money. With STV, maybe they would have been forced to work together to look after both.
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ezekiel bones
My guess is that rural folk took one look at the maps they provided and ran screaming the other way. No, it isn't complicated, it just happens to be a system that would suck in a geographically gigantic province like BC.

Maybe it works well in a country the size of the lower mainland, like Malta.
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