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Proportional representation is a principle underlying a voting system: People should be represented in proportion to how they voted. The percentage of seats a party has in the legislature should reflect the percentage of people who voted for them.
With made-for-B.C. proportional representation, almost every vote will count towards the make-up of the legislature. Almost every voter will help elect an MLA who shares their values. All regions of B.C. will have representation in both government and the opposition. A single party will no longer be able to attain a majority government with just 40% of the vote, and cooperation and compromise will become the norm.
B.C. voters may choose “made-for-B.C.” designs – maintaining strong local and regional representation, and ensuring MLAs are elected by the voters, not chosen by the parties.
This effectively eliminates any system with province-wide closed lists.
Dual Member Proportional AA
With DMP, most of BC’s current single-member districts will be paired to create half as many dual-member ridings. A small number of large rural ridings have a single member who is elected with the most votes (as now).
Voters choose their preferred pair of candidates or party.
The seat in every district is won by the first candidate of the party with the most votes, while the second seat is filled to create a proportional election outcome across the province.
An advantage of DMP is the simplicity of the ballot. Just like first-past-the-post, it is one X for voters.
You can learn more about method to allocate the second seat here: https://dmpforcanada.com/how-it-works/ This is a “made for B.C.” voting system not yet used anywhere else.
Mixed Member Proportional
Mixed Member Proportional representation was recommended by the Law Commission of Canada (2004) and several provincial commissions. Variations of MMP are used in New Zealand, Germany, Scotland and Wales.
You will have two votes. One vote helps elect a local MLA (the “Riding” or “District” Vote). The other vote (“Party Vote”) helps elect regional MLAs from your region. Regional seats are allocated to parties within defined regions, not the province as a whole, and are called “top up seats”.
About 60% of the MLAs will be local riding MLAs elected by winner-take-all (First Past the Post) as we do today. About 40% of the MLAs will be elected as regional MLAs, with your regional vote.
There are two ways regional candidates may be elected: you can vote for a specific candidate from a Party’s open list, as shown above, or you can vote for the party only, and the party chooses the MLA from a closed list. A legislative committee will decide which of these two systems will be used, but the “open” list is much preferred, and is the most likely to be chosen.
If regional MLAs are chosen from an open list, the candidate who gets the most votes across the region is elected.
With MMP, local ridings become about 67% bigger to accommodate the regional seats without requiring any more MLAs.
There are excellent videos on MMP on Fair Vote Canada’s youtube channel in the systems playlist.
Rural Urban Proportional
Voting with Rural-Urban Propor-tional (RUP) is simple. Urban voters use STV (Single Transfer-rable Vote) to elect local MLAs. As in the ballot at right, you rank as few or as many candidates as you want in any order you like. You can rank across party lines.
STV is used in Ireland, Malta and in state, territorial or senate elections in various countries.
In the most sparsely populated ridings, voting uses MMP (see above and ballot to left). A local MLA who gets the most votes is elected, just like today, and you choose a regional candidate from the party of your choice.
Accommodating top-up seats is much easier under Rural-Urban Proportional than under Mixed-Member Proportional, because the number of top-up seats needed (Regional MLAs) is much smaller. Under MMP, if 40% of the MLAs are regional, the size of local ridings would have to increase by about 67%.
For further information on proportional representation, all three systems, see the Tyee video at https://thetyee.ca/News/2018/07/03/BC-Options-Proportional-Representation-Explained/
or email your questions to church member Philip Symons at firstname.lastname@example.org
See also this frequently attacked Fact-Check website: https://prorepfactcheck.ca/