Peace making power sharing.pdf


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British Columbia chooses a voting system.
To Table of Contents

Links to sections:
The bug-bear of bad voting methods.
First past the post.
Instant run-off voting (alternative vote).
Party list systems.
Additional/Mixed Member system.
Single transferable vote (STV).

The bug-bear of bad voting methods.

The government lets a random selection of the public review the options in a Citizens Assembly. The voters then make the final choice, in a
referendum on the voting system British Columbia should use.
The politicians or any other special interests are not allowed to pre-empt the decision, because their interests might conflict with the public
interest. General elections are supposed to serve the general interest.
All credit to the British Columbian government for this enlightened and disinterested attitude for the good of the community as a whole.
In the past thirty years, there has been a revision of voting methods, even in the English-speaking countries and more change is likely. This
essay is just a period snap-shot of that process, but at an important stage of change.
Up till now, other governments have not been so generous towards the public in letting them decide the rules of their own elections. It is
true that the New Zealand government allowed a referendum on different voting methods. Unlike the BC government, they pre-empted the
decision with the recommendation of a government commission. And this official recommendation narrowly won the referendum.
It was also the case that most of the big money went into persuading the New Zealanders to keep the first past the post voting system.
The money bias in favor of the traditional system doesn't alter the fact that there was an official bias in favor of the new system.
Yet New Zealand allowed far more open consultation than in Britain, until a couple of recent exceptions, such as the Kerley report and the
Sunderland report. They had explicitly democratic terms of reference -- notably elusive from some previous official studies of elections.