Purpose & Societal Status
Fair Voting BC is a non-partisan, registered, non-profit society which works for fair voting systems for all elections held in BC, whether for federal, provincial, or municipal legislatures or councils or for independent organizations such as societies, unions, coops or student councils.
We support improvements in operating practices of elected bodies aimed at making government more representative, inclusive, transparent and accountable; such improvements could relate to campaign financing and disclosure rules, committee structures, or legislative conventions, amongst others.
We also advocate increased opportunities for citizens and NGOs to be meaningfully engaged in policy development processes and favour improvements to BC’s initiative process.
In the 2009 referendum campaign, FVBC served as the official proponent of the BC’s Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform’s recommendation that we adopt the Single Transferable Vote (BC-STV).
Fair Voting BC
c/o 4248 W 11th Ave
Vancouver, BC, V6R 2L7
Media Contact: Antony Hodgson, Fair Voting BC President, 778-235-7477
Email us – we welcome your comments:
Board of Directors
Our current directors are:
- Antony Hodgson (Vancouver) – President
- Jude Coates (Victoria)
- Heather Dale (Vancouver)
Constitution and Bylaws
Amendments to posted bylaws:
- Effective May 4, 2014, section 5 of the Society’s Bylaws now reads: “Subject to the provisions contained in this Part 2, any person who is accepted by a majority vote of the directors and pays the annual membership dues (if applicable), shall be a member of the Society.”
- The number of directors for 2014-15 and later has been set at three.
- Resolution 2009.1: The Single Transferable Vote will be used to elect candidates to the Board of Directors.
Referendum Campaign Financial Statement
Our statement from the 2009 Referendum campaign is filed with Elections BC.
A Brief History of Fair Voting BC
(from Seidle, 2002):
“Fair Voting BC (FVBC), founded in 1997, advocates a process of citizen involvement leading to a referendum to change British Columbia’s electoral system. The organization emphasizes the theme of wasted votes, with a particular focus on the over-representation of the winning party: “Government majorities are typically manufactured by our voting system, not by the will of the people. Elections do not result in representative government, but near dictatorships” (FVBC, n.d.) According to Nick Loenen (interview), one of FVBC’s founders, this concern was particularly acute following the 1996 election when the NDP government was elected for a second term with 39 percent of the popular vote. Loenen believes the imbalance between the legislature and the executive is “a considerable risk to democracy” and sees electoral reform as an opportunity to effect parliamentary reform. FVBC has a 12-member board of directors but no chapters or memberships. It aims to engage the public through the media – with news releases, letters to the editor, op-ed articles, participation in open-line programs and public meetings. FVBC maintains a Web site and an e-mail list; the latter reaches some 1300 to 1500 people. As noted in section 1.3, the British Columbia Liberal party, which formed the government in 2001, has promised to appoint a “Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.” FVBC had targeted the Liberals prior to the election. As Loenen put it, “our organization was instrumental in having that enshrined in the party platform.””
FVBC advocated for BC-STV in the 2005 electoral reform referendum, in which the Citizens’ Assembly’s recommendation received 58% support, but was not implemented by the provincial government, and then served as the official proponent in the 2009 repeat of the referendum. Following that referendum, FVBC’s focus has widened to include a range of democratic reform issues, including discussing and promoting models for participatory democracy, expressing caution about naive support for internet voting and supporting Vancouver’s quest for increased local autonomy to choose new voting systems and to impose campaign finance rules. We remain strongly committed to achieving voting reform at all levels of government in BC.
In the runup to the 2009 referendum, FVBC shifted to a membership structure, as required by provincial rules governing the referendum proponent and opponent, but reverted in 2014 to a board + volunteer/supporter structure to streamline administrative processes. Our email list now reaches over 10,000 people.