Tuesday, October 09, 2007
BC Minister of State for Mining Kevin Krueger comes out against Single Transferable Vote - first BC cabinet minister to take public stand against STV
BC's Minister of State for Mining Kevin Krueger has become the first sitting BC Liberal cabinet minister to take a stand opposing the Single Transferable Vote - or STV - that will be the subject of a province-wide referendum in conjunction with the May 2009 provincial election.
The BC Citizens Assembly recommended the adoption of the Single Transferable Vote in the 2005 provincial election to replace the current First Past The Post system but it failed to meet the double majority threshold of 60% of all BC voters in favour and also over 50% of the votes in 60% of province's 79 electoral districts, or 48 constituencies. The STV option got 57.5% in favour and was therefore defeated.
Krueger is also MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson, one of two ridings were STV failed to obtain over 50% of the vote in favour.
Writing in the North Kamloops Star/Journal on October 8, Krueger says that the Single Transferable Vote would be a disaster for rural communities. And he notes that he shares opposition to STV with former Social Credit Attorney-General Bud Smith, a former Kamloops MLA and one of the founders of KNOW STV along with myself.
"Like Bud Smith, I utterly reject the “Single Transferable Vote” proposal for electoral reform in B.C. It would inevitably cause a loss of personal representation for people who live in small communities or rural areas," Krueger writes.
"Citizens of Blue River, Birch Island, Clearwater, Little Fort, Barriere, Chu Chua, Whispering Pines, McLure, Westwold, Pritchard, Chase, Little Shuswap, Adams Lake and points between would be lumped in with people from Williams Lake to Merritt under the proposed boundary changes."
"A cluster of five MLA’s, probably all urban, would be elected for this huge area. None would be particularly assigned to any of these communities."
"Provincial decisions would inevitably become dominated by city MLA’s."
"Many city people do not realize that Vancouver, Victoria, and Kelowna are forest-dependent, mining-dependent, farming and ranching-dependent and energy-producer-dependent cities, but they are. The resource wealth that pays for their healthcare, education, justice and social service systems is extracted and provided by rural people," says Krueger.