We’ve had a very successful first year at 123Vancouver. Early in the year, the team came up with a petition calling on Minister Fassbender and the BC Liberals to pass legislation to allow municipal governments to enact legislation that gives voters more power in their vote. We collected more than 600 signatures so far.
During the summer, you may have found us at some fantastic events like Car-Free Day (Main Street and Commercial Drive) and Khatsalano. We partnered with Fair Vote Canada Vancouver Chapter at these events to share our vision of a better voting system, did you see us there?
Keith Poore wrote an opinion piece for Vancouver Sun:
Ontario has just introduced legislation to allow all municipalities in the province to switch away from their current voting system. Will British Columbia take action, or will it fall behind?
Citizens are impacted the most by the decisions made by our mayors and councillors, the parks boards, and school boards. From public transit to how waste is handled, development of land and property tax increases, municipal councils choose how the city operates. At the core of their decision making is voters’ decision making.
Spencer McKay wrote an opinion piece for The Province:
Once again Vancouver’s elections have failed to produce a city council that represents its citizens. Vision Vancouver received twice as many council seats as the NPA did. This is a problem since Vision council candidates won 32 per cent of the vote while NPA council candidates won 33 per cent. This discrepancy gave Vision a majority of seats on council, which means that it has the power to make many council decisions by itself, although the party was only supported by 32 per cent of voters.
Vancouver’s elections consistently produce these types of unfair outcomes.
Spencer McKay posted a blog post on Samara Blog:
Municipal elections in Manitoba, Ontario and PEI have recently passed and voters in British Columbia will take to the polls on Nov. 15. The issue of electoral reform in Vancouver has received little attention in recent years but it looks as though the time is right for a citizens’ assembly on electoral reform.
Groups like RaBIT and Ottawa123 advocate for electoral reform in Toronto and Ottawa, and Canadians continue to notice disproportionately strong majorities and “wasted votes” in provincial and federal elections. The situation in Vancouver is, astoundingly, even more at odds with the democratic principles of political equality, and dissatisfied citizens should have a chance to fix the system.
Spencer McKay wrote an op-ed for Georgia Straight:
Free and fair elections are a basic aspect of democracy. Vancouver’s elections may be free, but are they fair?
This November, many Vancouverites will check the election results only to find out that their votes did not count. This will not be the result of a miscount, electoral fraud, or faulty voting machines. Instead, it will be another illustration of our fundamentally flawed electoral process.
Dave Meslin and Shoni Field wrote an op-ed in the Vancouver Sun. Here is a little snippet.
One of the simplest, but most effective steps Vancouver could take to address growing feelings of disengagement is hiding right before our eyes.
Four years ago, voters in British Columbia were asked to choose between two voting systems: our current “First Past the Post” model and a proportional system called the “Single Transferable Vote” (STV). STV is used in Ireland, Australia and India and was endorsed by the B.C. Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.