Monday , January 25 2021

BC. electoral reform choice developed by a student at the University of Alberta



VANCOUVER – The first time he was old enough to vote in an election, Sean Graham said that he realized that the system was corrupted.

His hometown, traveling in northern Alberta, was a safe place for a party, which he did not support, so voting for anyone else in the “first-last post” system was considered an empty ballot.

“This was a serious problem for me. No matter where someone lives, their voice must matter, ”said Graham from Edmonton.

Only a few years later, as an undergraduate student at the University of Alberta, Graham created a step for the new electoral system. This model is currently being considered by voters in British Columbia, where a provincial referendum on electoral reform is being held.

“This is the first proportional representation system developed by Canada that will be extended to a vote throughout the province, so I am very proud that my work has this status. Of course, this gained more than I thought, although I was reliable, because I think he is very good at dealing with problems, ”he said.

The first question in the ballot asks voters to choose between the existing voting system in the first and last voting and proportional representation, the form of voting when the parties get seats in proportion to the number of votes cast for them.

The second question requires that voters evaluate three forms of proportional representation: proportional proportional for agriculture, mixed proportional members and the Graham model, double proportional members.

Elections BC accepts ballots by mail or in person until November 30th.

Graham said he developed a model as an independent research project funded by grants, which was controlled by a professor, while he was engaged in dual specialties in political science and physics.

“I thought it would be useful to develop a system that would not only better address the issue of rural integration, but also save more of what people like in the first place,” he said.

This is not the first time the province has considered this. When the government of Prince Edward Island issued a white paper seeking proposals for proportional representation, Graham said that he realized that dual membership matched each of its requirements proportionately and represented it. It was one of the five voting options in the optional plebiscite for electoral reform in the province in 2016, but the proportional number in a mixed composition won a majority of the votes.

Another question about the referendum, in which PEI is asked. voters, in order to decide between the first and past and mixed members in proportion, are expected to vote in the next general election.

Graham said he presented a model for B.C. government through a similar process.

In dual membership, proportionally, most electoral districts unite with the neighboring district and have two representatives in the legislature, although in large rural areas there is still one member. In double districts, a voter can vote for one candidate or a couple of candidates who may or may not be from the same party. The first place in the district was won by the candidate with the highest number of votes, and the second – by the parties, so that the share of each party of places approximately corresponds to its share of the popular vote.

A mixed proportional member is used in a number of countries, including Germany and New Zealand. Rural-urban proportionality is a hybrid of mixed membership and a single transmitted voice that is used in Ireland and Australia and was developed by Fair Vote Canada.

Some of them criticized the dual member proportionately, because it has not been tested anywhere in the world.

“I think it's a bit strange. The argument against proportional representation in the past has often been that it is imported from other countries, so now that we have a unique Canadian invention in the newsletter and they are still unhappy about it, I find it a bit surprising, ”said Graeme. ,

According to him, the double member is largely modeled at a mixed member proportional level, but he designed it to meet the unique needs of Canada.


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