Vote swap when your preferred party has no chance to win in your riding.

BC 2009 Archives

I’ll be matching voters as best as I can on Saturday, so that there is enough time for people to contact each other ahead of vote day. That makes Friday the last day to sign up!

Help me do a good job of matching by reviewing the potential matches and adding your comments.

What sources are you using to find the close races? I’ve been looking around, but haven’t found much, just this:


Why people are vote swapping

A roundup of comments submitted by vote swappers:

Kevin Kruger (the worker whacker). Do I need to further explain?

Liberal will most likely win in my riding and my vote will be useless.

I want a Green Party candidate to win in some riding. I am frustrated that a party with a decent percentage of the popular vote has no MLAs or MPs elected.

I support a fair voting system, particularly, BC-STV, as recommended by the Citizens’ Assembly.  Neither of the two major parties supports this, so I don’t want to vote for either one, but a vote for a Green in my riding (Gordon Campbell’s home riding) would be wasted.  I would be prepared to support Mel Lehan (NDP) if I knew that my vote was going to a Green candidate elsewhere, preferably one with a chance of winning (Jane Sterk?  Damian Kettlewell?).

I’m sick of Carole James being my MLA, she doesn’t do anything for us. Ideally I want to vote Green, and would love to swap with a Liberal from Jane Sterk’s riding. She has the best chance for a Green to become an MLA

Well I want somebody in WV-S2S to vote Green for me and in exchange I will vote for a Conservative since West Van-S2S has no Conservatives

Need STV not Liberal – NDP pendulum.

I’m surrounded by people in my riding whom I have nothing in common with and who vote en masse for policies that I am ideologically opposed to and find morally and socially reprehensible. I can’t get my voice heard.  My MLA will always be a shmuck IMHO under the current voting system.

People want real choice, and their votes to matter. That’s why STV must pass. There may not be another chance for real vote reform in our generation.

One week to go, vote for ideal swaps

Response has been very quiet in comparison to the vote swapping in the federal campaign. Not exactly sure why that is, I haven’t had any media requests this time around so I hope that is because STV is getting all the attention heh.

Given the low numbers, there aren’t a lot of options for pairing up voters. I’ve put up a ‘Pick the pairs’ page listing all entries without personal data so others can help me determine how best to match up the few that are there.

Please add your comments to the bottom of that page.

I’ll send out the matches on Saturday, so that there is enough time for people to contact each other, which means Friday will be the deadline to register.

Match up voters here .


I found a great tool which allows one to see the impact of the STV voting system .

First thing I did was to simplify how many parties there are, mostly because it made it a lot easier to see the final outcome and it was less clicking.

You need to have Java installed for this application. The app is not flashy but it does all it needs to do.

First thing you choose how many MLA’s and parties are in the election. For me I used four parties and five MLA’s.

The second step takes a bit more thought/work. This is where you enter different ballot combinations. Since there are a lot of different possible combinations, I just tried to use as many different ones as possible. You also have the option of how many ballots were entered for each selection – I used random numbers here to get a more realistic view.

The final step is the vote count – this is cool and gives a break down for each count, you may need to make the Java applet a bit bigger to see all the details. You keep “counting” until all candidates are elected or eliminated.

When you select voter details it shows you the breakdown of how each vote is being used and at what percentage their vote is being used.

Overall this is a very neat tool and may help you see how the break down is different using STV. I personally found it a bit confusing to start with, but after reading the FAQ’s and changing up the number of parties/MLA’s really helped simplify it for me. Putting in as many different combinations as possible increases the clarity in the vote counting. Let me know how you find it!

Vote swapping goes west

Pair Vote is back for the provincial election in British Columbia!!  The great success and positive momentum gained in the federal election has spurred us on to continue this movement until a true democratic system is created.  We have decided to come back to support the provincial election as well as the vote for BC-STV .

Pair Vote evolved to meet the needs of Canadian voters.  Until a truly democratic system is created to elect our officials we will continue to match voters to get your votes to count.

The voting system is the heart of representative democracy. It’s the tool citizens use to create government by the people, for the people, of the people.

A good voting system gives every citizen an equal vote. When every citizen’s vote has equal value, then parliaments can reflect the political will of the people. If the voting system ignores or distorts what voters say, then democracy is compromised. Parliaments are not representative and governments cannot be properly accountable.

This is the core problem with the Canadian political system. Our 21st century democracy is hobbled with a dysfunctional 12th century voting system.

Does this describe your situation this election?

  • You are convinced the person or party representative you want to vote for won’t get elected
  • You are tired of your vote not being represented in parliament
  • You want to do something about it

Then consider pairing your vote with someone in another riding where you *could* make a difference. Pair voting has been going in the U.S. since the 2000 election.

Here is how it works:

1. You go to to register , stating your name, riding, preferred party to vote for, and other parties you are willing to vote for.

Name: Joe Smith
Riding: Chilliwack
My preferred party: Green
I am willing to vote for NDP, Liberal

2. Later on, you will be paired up with someone in a riding where your Green vote has a better chance of making a difference. You’ll have time to talk with this person and decide if you want to go ahead with pairing up your vote.

It’s easy to do and it’s legal. Yes, it’s also ridiculous that voters have to jump through hoops to sometimes make their vote count.

Register Now

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