Voting Systems as Gardening

Pro Rep pictured as a garden.


“The Community Vegetable Garden”

Our old voting system: FPTP
Modern voting method: Pro Rep
One Pro Rep system: Dual Member Proportional

The theme with DMP is simplicity. Same, simple ballot we currently use. It uses two-member districts just like those that were used in parts of BC until 1991, but with an updated way for Elections BC to count the ballots so that more voters get at least one MLA they like. Some people describe it as a simple version of voting systems used in many countries, such as List PR or the next voting system:

Another Pro Rep system: Mixed Member Proportional

MMP is a little more complicated than the system above: You have to vote twice, once for a local candidate, and again for your favourite regional candidate. It’s been used for 69 years in Germany, 22 years in New Zealand, and a number of years in Scotland, Wales, and other countries, where people are generally happy with it.

A third Pro Rep system: Rural-Urban Proportional

Rural-Urban Proportional uses two common and successful voting systems, one for the rural areas and one for the urban areas. It’s similar to voting in the northern European countries, and a version was used for decades on the Canadian prairies. It’s considered the most made-in-BC plan; rural voters would use MMP (see above), while if you live in an urban area you could rank  as many or as few candidates as you want.

“IF YOU WERE GROWING A GARDEN” compliments of Marc Gasparotto.  The Sightline Institute provided the remaining illustrations by François Vigneault, of our current voting system “First-Past-The-Post” (FPTP); the alternative arrangement “Proportional Representation” (Pro Rep or PR); and the three types of Pro Rep to choose from in the 2018 BC Referendum on Electoral Reform: Dual Member Proportional (DMP), Mixed Member Proportional (MMP), and Rural-Urban Proportional (RUP). Further explanations of the analogy to go along with the illustrations are provided at 5 pictures to explain the voter referendum in British Columbia by Kristin Eberhard (Oct. 1, 2018).

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