Hey voters of British Columbia, remember 2001? The BC Liberals got 58 percent of the vote and won all but two seats in the Legislative Assembly. Sure, their votes should have given the party a comfortable majority control—but not near-total domination. The BC New Democratic Party (NDP) and BC Greens won more than 40 percent of the votes but together held just two seats. Most people think all voters should have equal power to elect a representative. But in British Columbia in 2001, Liberal votes had 10 times the power of other voters.
Each Liberal Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) had, on average, 11,908 votes. Each NDP MLA had, on average, 171,578 votes. And 197,231 votes wasn’t enough to elect even a single Green candidate.
Below: Click to get the (very abbreviated) .gif story of the 2001 British Columbia election
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British Columbia’s outdated First-Past-the-Post voting led to that unfair result. It also created “wrong-winner” results, where the ruling party won fewer votes than the opposition party, in five of the past seven elections—1991, 1996, 2005, 2009, 2013. Proportional representation (ProRep) would create fair results. Voters would have equal power and equal representation. If British Columbia had used ProRep in 2001, the Liberals would have won around 58 percent of the seats, and voters could have elected someone who represented them, no matter the preferred party.
British Columbian voters have the chance to put a stop to unfair elections like 2001. They could move past 18th-century democracy and adopt ProRep.