University researchers have launched a study to determine if an alternative voting system would have an impact on the results of Tuesday’s provincial election. B.C. currently employs the first past the post (FPTP) system where the candidate with the most votes is declared the winner. The Votes BC study, involving researchers from the University of B.C. and Laval University, will look at how voting patterns may change under two different electoral systems: proportional representation (PR) and single transferable vote (STV).
Based on a similar study conducted during the last provincial election in Quebec, Dr. Allan Craigie, a researcher at UBC and study member, expects each voting system to produce different end results, as well as to show different individual voting choices.
“When people were given the option … of voting in the proportional system, 20 per cent made a different choice,” Craigie said of the Quebec study.
“So it is not just about the system putting different people in power, it is about the individual voter having more freedom or less freedom to make choices when they go and cast their ballots, which we think is very important for the electorate to be aware of.”