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CBC News

October 25, 2004

B.C. voters to choose electoral system next May

Written by CBC News Online

VANCOUVER - When voters head to the polls May 17 to vote in British Columbia's provincial election, they will also be asked to vote in a referendum on whether they want to change the way they choose elected representatives.

Currently, the province uses the first-past-the-post electoral system. The referendum question will ask voters if they want to switch to a single transferable vote (STV) ballot.

This system would allow voters to choose between candidates rather than between parties.

The STV system is preferred by the province's Citizens' Assembly for Electoral Reform, which voted Sunday to switch to this system. They also agreed that voters should have the final say in the matter.

If voters opt for change, the STV system would be in place for the 2009 provincial election.

STV is used by a handful of jurisdictions around the world, including Ireland, Malta and two Australian jurisdictions.

The Citizens' Assembly for Electoral Reform was set up by the B.C. Liberal government. It is an independent, non-partisan assembly of citizens asked to examine the province's electoral system.


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