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Peer into alternate universe through new STV site

If B.C. voters had approved the Single Transferable Vote last time, how would the current election turn out? A new website offers a glimpse into an alternate universe.

Visitors to find an interactive map divided into giant ridings. By clicking on a map and following instructions, they can select up to six candidates, in order of preference.

Results are quick but confusing: visitors may be surprised to find their top choices vanish from the final selection, or their vote go to a third or fourth choice. The How it Works page isn't that helpful.

The display of candidates' names may bias voters: For some reason, NDP candidates appear at the top of the lists, with Liberals at the bottom.

The site offers running totals, so it's a kind of "hamburger poll." As of Thursday afternoon, with 228 "voters" casting their ballots, North Island-South Coast had elected two New Democrats, a Liberal, and a Green. (Full disclosure: The Hook voted twice.)

Meanwhile, Vancouver West with six MLAs to elect and 364 ballots cast, has so far "elected" one Green, three Liberals (Gordon Campbell, Margaret MacDiarmid, and Colin Hansen), and two New Democrats.

The Hook will keep track of, but takes note of the site's own warning: "Assume the ballot boxes are stuffed."

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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