Bill Tieleman's latest effort to undermine STV is curious indeed. Is he going after STV? Does he have something against Dave Meslin? Or maybe he's trying to tap into our sense of western alienation. Mr. Tieleman refers to Ontario 5 times, implying that those uppity Central Canadians should stay out of our referendum. Enough of the niceties - on to the arguments.
Bill Tieleman says "it does not allow voters to determine what fraction of their vote is to be allocated to each preference, meaning you will never know exactly where your vote went. Well, peope who voted Green in the last few elections know exactly where their votes went - nowhere. People who voted for people who weren't elected know where their votes went as well.
Frankly, Bill, I don't care what they do with my vote as long as we see more representative government. David Schreck warns that they'll chop my vote into fractions. For all I care, they can puree it and serve it back to me in a cocktail. I know enough about STV to understand how it works. Literally dozens of political scientists, the people who spend their lives studying this stuff, have endorsed BC-STV. I have confidence in Elections BC to implement it and am sure the parties will ensure counting is done properly. So, that is not an issue.
Mr. Tieleman takes Dave Meslin to task for saying that "the notion that STV will result in fewer women being elected" is ridiculous. Wisely sidestepping the argument, Tieleman cites Andrea Reimer and Anne Edwards who claim that STV will be bad for women. He concludes "I guess Meslin figures he knows more than two experienced British Columbian women politicians whose credentials are impeccable."
Maybe the answer is that Mr. Meslin is aware that Tricia Marwick, a member of the Scottish Parliament with first hand experience with STV said "of course STV is good for women". Maybe he's looked at the impressive list of endorsements on the stv.ca website and seen that it includes 4 NDP MP's (3 of them women), several dozen local politicians (many of them women), Judy Rebick, Naomi Klein, Maude Barlow, Jane Sterk, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath and many, many other prominent women. So, Mr Tieleman, I would suggest that either you are extremely poorly informed on this point or you are making a disingenuous argument.
Next, Bill Tielman asks rhetorically whether the Ontarians would accept this system in Toronto. It's ironic you bring this up because STV was used successfully over several decades in two dozen American cities where it was credited with taking "power away from party leaders and give more of it to voters." Those party insiders who lost power plotted to get rid of it by undermining it and were successful when the "wrong kinds of people" (ethnic minorities and the occasional socialist) were elected.
Finally, Bill Tieleman claims that STV "obviously reduces local representation". Maybe this is only obvious to him. This report, produced for the Scottish Parliament found that "STV appears effective at maintaining linkages between politicians and local communities and indeed it is often criticised for fostering too localistic a political culture."
So, Bill, now that I've addressed your concerns, I'm sure you will want to meet with the NDP brain trust that is opposing STV and explain to them that you were wrong. Many of us are used to thinking of the NDP as the party that always takes the principled stand. We can't understand why you would oppose this progressive system. Stop the madness before it's too late.