The BC-STV scheme is a variant of Single Transferable Vote that resembles the scheme used in Ireland for nearly a century. It was widely debated in early 2005:

debates prior to the referendum

over 57% support, over 50% in 76 of 79 existing districts

In the BC electoral reform referendum, 2005, the scheme failed to meet the high threshold set for immediate implementation, that being 60% of the popular vote and 50% support in over 60% of BC's 79 existing provincial EDs. It met the latter handily in 76 of 79 districts but achieved "only" 57.2% of the popular vote. This heartened Gordon Campbell who achieved a false majority with 46% of the popular vote, Carole James who voted against BC-STV "for under-representing some rural ridings", and Adrianne Carr who had been a champion of MMPR.

may be modified to achieve > 60% support

Julian West led the pro-STV effort and proposes that a slight modification of STV to accomodate some MMPR seats and offset the very high urban representation of strict PR or 50/50 MMPR, would easily pass the legislature given these positions. Such options as bioregional multi-member district (which are typically >90% STV, <10% MMPR) now appear to have the upper hand in the final negotiations.

Given Campbell's false majority and the strong support for change, and the relative ease of accomodating the objections to BC-STV, it appears that the BC legislature will be dealing with issue long before the BC general election, 2007 in which any new system would be used.

play with BC-STV yourself

BC-STV accordingly cannot be eulogized. And it is one of the easiest systems to understand now given that there are online simulations that explain exactly how it works:



  1. each riding elects a whole number of representatives to the legislature - more than two and less than ten
  2. voters rank their preferred representatives in order on a preference vote ballot
  3. the number of first-choice votes required to elect a representative on the first round varies but is roughly the same number as 50%+1 if the ridings had been single-member
  4. ballots are counted only once - any ballot that elects a member on the first round is not counted in the next round
  5. leftover ballots are consulted for their second choice - these votes are multiplied by a transfer value (not 100% but a percentage) and added to the first choice votes to elect another member
  6. the process is completed under the whole number of representatives are elected
  7. there is no provision for under-represented parties as in MMPR schemes which typically allocate up to 50% of the votes by party proportion, or bioregional multi-member district schemes which typically allocate only about 10%, and which require ridings to match bioregion boundaries
  8. voters may decide to vote only for their first choice - unlike the Australian system where this is a spoiled ballot - and ignore second choices - however this providess no advantage.

The BC demochoice.org demonstration web poll lets you test the original BC-STV scheme.