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STV quite popular outside of politics

Movie stars and athletes have been using single transferable vote to elect movie nominations and MVPs, yet critics of the electoral system say it's too complicated for B.C.

As debate continues over whether British Columbia should stay with its current first past the post voting system or move to a single transferable vote, ballot systems similar to BC-STV are already being used outside the political realm.

Although critics of BC-STV argue it’s too difficult to understand, nominees for various movie awards as well as winners of NBA and NHL awards are chosen using ballots similar to that of BC-STV.

BC-STV ballots would list all candidates who have chosen to run in a particular riding. The voter could either stop at indicating their preference for one candidate or they could continue to rank as many of the remaining candidate as they want. This would mean the candidate they prefer second to their first choice would be marked as “2,” their third preferred candidate as “3” and so on, numbering as many of the candidates on the ballot as they wish.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also uses STV, or preferential voting, to choose five nominees for each category in the Academy Awards. Members of the Academy are mailed an award nomination ballot in which they must list the five individuals they would like to be considered for nomination within a particular category in declining order of preference.

This would mean the individual they prefer the most within a particular category would be listed first on the ballot. The Academy member would then continue to list their remaining choices for award nomination in declining order of preference as “2,” “3,” “4,” and “5.”

This voting system results in the five nominees for each category within the Academy Awards.

Preferential ballots are also used to select nominees for Gemini and Grammy awards.

Ballots similar to that which would exist with BC-STV are used in a number of non-political locations including the selection of winners for a number of top player awards within the NHL and NBA.

Preferential voting systems are also already used by the traditional political variety to elect party leaders and local candidates including the Conservative Party of Canada, the Liberal Party of Canada, the B.C. Liberal Party and both the provincial and federal Green parties. Many provincial parties also use systems similar to BC-STV.

To learn more about BC-STV, check out The Tyee series: STV or No..

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