Saturday, May 09, 2009

Bad Trend

Another poll on STV in British Columbia, which again suggests support is waning over time:
A third B.C. election poll suggests that the proposed BC-STV electoral system is unlikely to pass Tuesday.

A new Ipsos Reid poll found that only 33 per cent of respondents said they intend to vote for BC-STV. A slight majority – 52 per cent – said they intend to vote for the current First Past the Post system.

A further 15 per cent said they are undecided.

An Ipsos poll conducted for the No STV group in March found support for BC-STV at 43 per cent, compared to 41 per cent for the existing FPTP system.

Among decided voters, FPTP received 61 per cent support in the new Ipsos poll, compared to 39 per cent for BC-STV.

Like the Angus Reid sample, Ipsos finds support for STV weakening, relative to earlier polling. This type of confirmation provides a worrying trendline, and while the usual caveats apply, things are clearly heading in the wrong direction. This poll finds 4/5 voters are unlikely to change their minds on the referendum. A secondary issue, if it does turn out that STV support is less than it was in the last election, it raises the spectre of alternative electoral concepts being put on the political backburner, not just in B.C., but in other jurisdictions as well.


Jim said...

It's time for the electoral reform folks to start thinking about a response to their impending defeat. Fair Vote, etc... won't be able to cling to STV as their preferred model any longer.

sunsin said...

The Stupid Transferable Vote deserves to die and I will be very happy to vote against it. It is a weirdly convoluted system that makes it impossible to count the vote without computers. Is that a good thing?

First past the post needs to be improved, true. What about the simplest solution, runoffs between the two leading candidate? Too much trouble, you say? Then have the vote done entirely by mail, as the US state of Oregon already does.

And if you say people wouldn't be bothered to post two letters in four years to exercise their democratic rights, I give up.

Anonymous said...

You know what?

It doesn't matter.

Some other form of electing representation isn't going to make any difference as long as the only people attracted to run are the people who are currently attracted to run.

There's very little notion of public service remaining. It's all partisan posturing and personal glorification and/or enrichment.

So what if there's 4 people elected to represent me in my riding instead of 1. I'll only have 4 deceitful, self interested, asshat bozoz trying to blow smoke up my ass instead of 1.

What's better about that?

JimmE said...

Sunsin - NAILED IT!

Keithunder said...

The Single transferable vote is the only system where you can effectively vote for individual candidates rather than parties.
It was invented in the 19th Century so that kind of indicates that you don't need computers to count it.
Party hacks don't like it because it is the system that gives them the least control.
If you have a choice of 4 reps there is a chance that one of them might be slighly less of an ass than the other 3.

Northern PoV said...

I think STV could work better than susin's runoff method - if it were a simple single-member-riding system.

Why the STV folks threw in this screwy multi-member system I can't figure out.

Almost as ugly as the Mixed Member Proportion deal that Ontario rejected.

Skinny Dipper said...

The single member Alternative Vote is no more proportional province-wide than First-Past-the-Post. You would not get the advocates of proportional representation campaigning for or accepting it.

David Graham - said...

Skinny Dipper,

Exactly. Anything the PR wingnuts advocate for isn't worth having. Their entire purpose is to give the dippers more national representation, not to improve our electoral system.

IRV/AV is the best possible solution. It lets everyone vote for the party and/or candidate of their choice without risking having a particularly bad candidate winning.

STV with single-member ridings is the absolutely ideal electoral system. STV with multi-member munging is such a bastardisation of a good system that it is an unworkably bad system.

BC-STV's death cannot come soon or decisively enough.

Steve V said...


In this poll, NDP supporters slightly favor FPTP (53%-47%), which I thought was interesting.

David Graham - said...

Prov-NDP and Nat-NDP aren't the same in BC from what I gather. Provincially, SMP (the proper name for FPTP -- who came up with that stupid name?) is more popular with the NDP as they tend to benefit from its flaws. But the overall objective of 'FairVote' is to allow fringe parties to be over-represented through balances of power through permanent minority within pure PR, an objective which they hope to achieve piecemeal and gradually by giving us STV, MMP, or any other system that is "proportional" and promotes the growth of fringe parties.

IMO it is imperative that we have a system that allows both minorities and majorities. Without that duality, there is nothing to keep anybody honest.

Steve V said...

That's sort of my point, when there is a vested interested in the status quo, because it can work for said party, support isn't as robust. In this poll, and others, it's Greens that overwhelming support, while we see less support as we move towards parties who could actually win under the current system.

"is to allow fringe parties to be over-represented through balances of power through permanent minority within pure PR"

That fact tends to counter this ideal of pure representation. You will have instances, wherein a party with very little support holds the balance of power and yields disporportionate influence. You will also have, over time (particularly in a vast country like Canada), very regional centric parties popping up, and one has to wonder how comfortable we will be if narrow interests hold the balance of power in a federal government. I don't put much stock in these comparative examples elsewhere in the world, because they really don't address the Canadian circumstance.

Anonymous said...

As a BC voter, I absolutley do not approve of STV. That was tried a few years ago and failed. A lot of the small ridings do not have many good candidates that represent the people fairly so why should they get and those they have I wouldn't waste my time going to the polling stations for.As far as I can see the only party it would help is the NDP and I for one would not ever vote NDP even if they were the only ones on the ballot. There is nothing wrong with the current system so leave it alone already.


Anonymous said...

If yu can't win - try to think of a confusing way to win?

NDP have had over 75 years to convince Canadian they should be government. It's up to the parties to convince Canadians - not some stupid so-called more democratic scheme.

It's almost like cheating.