The Site C Issue: The Tale of Two Voting Systems

By Richard Habgood.

BC’S Site C dam is a very contentious issue. On one side, you have Premier Clark and Energy Minister Bennett, who are determined to build a dam that they say is necessary for future electrical needs and to power an LNG industry. Opponents contend that if BC does need the power, we can get it from less expensive renewable resources and without infringing on First Nations rights or destroying farmland that could feed a million people.

So how does the electoral voting system play into this scenario?

First Past the Post:

The 2013 BC Provincial election, using our first past the post (FPTP ) voting system, saw the Liberals win 44% of the popular vote but in doing so they gained 58% majority of seats in the Legislature. BC’s FPTP voting system awarded the provincial Liberals a “false majority ” government with a minority of votes. And because they gained a slim majority of seats, they have governed as if they have a mandate to do what they want and build Site C. Continue reading