BC-STV is a big step forward for women

Vote yes for BC-STV and help shatter the glass ceiling


may grey

Clockwise from top left: Supporters of BC-STV, Denise Savoie, NDP MP, BC; Judy Rebick, former president, Nat’l. Action Cttee. on the Status of Women; Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party of Canada; Deborah Grey, former Deputy Leader, Reform Party of Canada

WHEN IT comes to electing women, Canada ranks 52nd in the world. Of the 51 countries ahead of us, 46 use proportional voting systems. British Columbia currently uses a voting system that consistently produces the worst results for women across the democratic world. Our flawed system marginalizes new voices, re-enforces the status quo and generates male-dominated parliaments.

Proportional systems key

Proportional voting systems, used around the world, produce much better results, giving women their deserved place in government. BC-STV is a modern, well-tested proportional model designed specifically to increase diverse representation in government. Members of the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, half of whom are women, overwhelmingly chose STV for its accountability and stabilizing effect on BC politics.

Multi-member ridings an advantage

The math is simple. BC-STV uses multi-member districts in which parties can run more than one candidate. That offers parties a greater opportunity to present both women and men to the electorate.

Other facts

The Australian Capital Territories has one of the highest rates of women being elected in the world, using STV.

Ireland, using STV, elected 38 percent women to the European Parliament while the UK, using a regional party list system, elected only 23 percent women.

The negative nature of political campaigning can discourage women from participating in elections. BC-STV encourages more constructive debate, as candidates try to secure the “second choice” support of their opponents’ supporters.

In Australia, suffragette Catherine Helen Spence and women’s organizations such as the Federation of Women Voters campaigned for many decades for the adoption of STV.

We deserve better. It’s time to end politics-as-usual in BC. We are a growing grassroots movement of people from across the province uniting to define a new vision for BC.

Women who support BC-STV

  • Denise Savoie, MP, Victoria BC
  • Deborah Grey, former Reform Party deputy and interim leader
  • Jane Sterk, leader, BC Green Party
  • Jean Crowder, NDP MP, Nanaimo-Cowichan
  • Cara Camcastle, SFU Political Science
  • Adrianne Carr, former leader, BC Green Party
  • Elizabeth May, leader, Green Party of Canada
  • Sylvia Bashevkin, former president, Canadian Political Science Association
  • Judy Rebick, Ryerson University, former president, National Action Committee on the Status of Women
  • Lois Wilson, former president of World Council of Churches, former Senator.
  • Andrea Horwath, Leader, Ontario New Democratic Party
  • Blaize Horner Reich, SFU Segal School of Business

Scholars argue that women are likely to be elected in greater numbers under STV because it will encourage parties to change their nomination practices to put forward gender-balanced slates. That, along with more readily available childcare and other supports, would make it easier for women to serve as MLAs. – Donna Stewart, former southern BC representative on the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (1984-6), former federal NDP candidate for North Vancouver-Lonsdale.

From British Columbians for BC-STV, 604-484-2979. www.stv.ca

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