The two most vocal opponents of adopting the single transferable vote in B.C. have New Democratic Party ties and at least one major union is telling its members to vote 'no', but not all left wingers are against making the change.
“I don't believe in making perfection the enemy of the better,” said Mike Bocking, the NDP candidate in Maple Ridge-Mission. “My personal vote will be for STV.”
He stressed that he won't campaign for a 'yes' vote in the May 12 referendum, but will give his position when asked.
Like the B.C. Liberal Party, the NDP has decided not to take an official position on the referendum.
Another NDP candidate, Helesia Luke, also said she will vote 'yes' for STV. She is running in Vancouver-Langara. “Each candidate was free to take their own position,” said Luke.
“I think there are a number of warts on STV,” Bocking said, including its complexity and the difficulty voters may have understanding who represents them in large ridings. Still, it's better than the first-past-the-post system we now use, he said. “The first-past-the-post system has more warts on it than STV.”
While the NDP may be officially neutral on STV, the two main media spokespeople for the No BC-STV Campaign Society have strong NDP backgrounds. President Bill Tieleman was an adviser to NDP Premier Glen Clark and Secretary-Treasurer David Schreck was an NDP MLA and strategist.
The B.C. chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees' also has a position against STV and is telling its members that in pre-election phone calls.
Federal NDP members of parliament Jean Crowder and Denise Savoie are on record in favour of a 'yes' vote for STV in the referendum.
The B.C. Green Party is promoting a 'yes' vote and included the position prominently in their platform.
Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.