Civic election voting system flawed

I’d like to add my analysis of Burnaby's last civic election to the comments that Wanda Chow made in her “Let the Silly Season Begin” column (NewsLeader, Feb. 28).

In terms of total votes per party, the Burnaby Citizens Association (BCA) got 60 per cent of the vote, TEAM got 30 per cent and the Burnaby Greens and others got the other 10 per cent. With eight council seats, the BCA should therefore have five councillors, TEAM should have two and the Greens should have one.

The fact that all the candidates for each of the three parties got vote counts that came in fairly narrow bands is a strong indication that voters stuck mostly to the party slates.

The voting system used in Burnaby is well known to political scientists to result in sweeps like the ones we’ve seen in the past few elections, especially when slates are involved. It’s not because Burnaby voters only vote for the BCA, and it's not because the other party candidates are no good.

It’s because the voting system awards all the seats to the top party rather than distributing some of the seats proportionally to the lesser parties as well.

As several people have commented lately, the result is a council that has little internal variety and is not representative.

Iain Macanulty


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