Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform (British Columbia)

Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform (British Columbia)

The Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform is a group created by the government of British Columbia, Canada to investigate changes to the provincial electoral system. On 25 October 2004, it proposed replacing the province's existing First Past the Post (FPTP) system with a Single Transferable Vote (STV) system: this recommendation was put to the electorate-at-large in a referendum held concurrently with the 2005 provincial election. The referendum required approval by 60% of votes and simple majorities in 60% of the 79 districts in order to pass: final results indicate that the referendum failed with only 57.7% of votes in favour, although it did have majority support in 77 of the 79 electoral districts.



During the 2001 provincial election, the Liberal Party promised to create a citizens' assembly to consider changes to the provincial electoral system (as opposed to forming a Royal Commission, as New Zealand did). The recommendation of the assembly would then be put as a referendum . In September 2002, Gordon Gibson was appointed to make recommendations on the composition and function of the assembly.

In December 2002, Gibson recommended an assembly composed of randomly selected citizens, two from each of the province's 79 electoral districts. The government adopted Gibson's recommendations in law in April 2003.

Selection Process

The BC Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform was composed 160 members, one man and one woman from each of BC’s 79 electoral districts, plus two Aboriginal members.[1] Assembly members were selected by a civic lottery that ensured a gender balance and a fair representation of the province’s age and geographical distribution. Selecting members for the Assembly was a three-stage process:

Stage one began in August 2003 when 15,800 invitations were mailed to randomly identified British Columbians. In order to ensure even geographical representation, 200 invitations were extended in each constituency. Invitees were asked if they were willing to put their names into a draw for future candidacy.

In stage two, the names of respondents expressing interest went into a pool for their constituency. Positive respondents were organized into 79 groups of 20, split evenly between men and women, and reflecting the age distribution of individuals in the constituency. These candidates were then invited to information meetings where they heard presentations about the Assembly and were asked to publicly confirm their eligibility and interest in participating.

At stage three, the names of those who responded positively were sealed into envelopes and entered into a final draw. Two people from each district pool, one man and one woman, were selected by random draw for membership in the Citizens’ Assembly. Selection into the Assembly continued until December 2003. Two additional members, representing First Nations communities, were added after the selection of the original 158.

Assembly Proceedings

From January to August 2004, the Assembly went through a "Learning Phase", where the Assembly received experts and held public hearings so that the members can understand the different electoral systems in usage around the world and their various effects on the political process.

Between September and October 2004, the members deliberated over which electoral system to recommend. On October 23, the Assembly decided that if they were to recommend an alternative system, it would be an STV system, over a Mixed Member Proportional system also under consideration. The next day, the Assembly voted in favour of recommending the change from the FPTP system to STV.

On December 10, the Final Report on Electoral Change was presented to the B.C. legislature by the Assembly. It recommended changing the electoral system to a localized version of STV called BC-STV.

Another referendum on adopting the STV system was held and defeated during BC's 2009 provincial election.[2]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform — may refer to: Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform (British Columbia) Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform (Ontario) This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform (Ontario) — The Government of the Canadian province of Ontario established a Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform in March 2006. Modelled on the British Columbia equivalent, it reviewed the first past the post electoral system currently in use to elect… …   Wikipedia

  • Democratic Reform British Columbia — Active provincial party Leader Graeme Rodger President George OBriain Founded …   Wikipedia

  • Citizens' assembly — A citizens assembly is a body formed from the citizens of a modern state to deliberate on an issue or issues of national importance. Typically, the membership of a citizens assembly is randomly selected. The purpose is to employ a cross section… …   Wikipedia

  • British Columbia electoral reform referendum, 2005 — A referendum was held in the Canadian province of British Columbia on May 17, 2005 to determine whether or not to adopt the recommendations of the Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform. It was held in conjunction with the British Columbia general …   Wikipedia

  • British Columbia electoral reform referendum, 2009 — A second referendum on electoral reform will be held in conjunction with the provincial election scheduled for May 12 2009.The BC single transferrable vote (BC STV) electoral system will again be voted on by the BC electorate. To succeed, it will …   Wikipedia

  • Electoral reform in Canada — There are numerous efforts underway for electoral reform in Canada at federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal levels. At present the most active are provincial. As of early 2006, two electoral reform referendums have been held:*The British …   Wikipedia

  • Citizens Action Party (British Columbia) — The Citizens Action Party (formerly the British Columbia Grey Party) is a minor political party in British Columbia, Canada. It was formed as a protest movement of senior citizens against their perceived victimization by the BC Liberal Party. Its …   Wikipedia

  • British Columbia general election, 2001 — 1996 ← May 16, 2001 → 2005 …   Wikipedia

  • British Columbia Conservative Party — Active provincial party Leader John Martin Cummins President …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.