EDITORIAL: Voter turnout dismal again

Another election has come and gone, and once again, half of those eligible to vote in this province didn’t bother.

Another election has come and gone, and once again, half of those eligible to vote in this province didn’t bother.

That’s just discouraging.

So is the fact the B.C. Liberals can win a clear majority in the legislature with less than half the votes, and thus dictate legislation for the next four years unimpeded.

Is it any wonder why the other half feel disenfranchised?

When the B.C. Conservatives can garner close to 80,000 votes and still have no representation in the legislature, is it any wonder why so many British Columbians feel like they don’t have a voice?

Nevertheless, it’s the system that’s currently in place. There was an opportunity to move to a single-transferable vote system in 2009, but voters turned it down – with only 39 per cent in favour in that referendum.

Sixty per cent overall approval and 50 per cent approval in at least 60 per cent of the province’s electoral districts was required to adopt STV, – a system that more fairly reflects the actual number of votes for a candidate and party rather than seats won. However, the support fell far short.

Would voter turnout be any more robust if B.C. had adopted an STV system?

Impossible to say … although given this province’s reputation of election apathy, it’s doubtful.

If there is a bright note to the May 14 election result, it was those who did choose to exercise their democratic right clearly did so with little regard to the inevitable NDP victory consistently predicted by the polling companies and political pundits.

Clearly the majority of those who turned out to the polls were voting for what they thought was right, not what they were told.

At least that’s a positive.

 

Black Press