The second referendum to consider moving to the single transferable vote (STV) form of proportional representation for British Columbia provinicial legislative elections has been delayed until 2009. The first referendum, on the proposal of the BC Citizens Assembly, was held in May, 2004, at the last general election. It “passed” with 57% of the vote but was “defeated” for failing to make the mandated 60%. Embarrassed by this ambiguous outcome, and perhaps also by its own return to full power under FPTP despite only around 45% of the vote, the reelected Liberal government promised a second referendum concurrent with the November, 2008, municipal elections. The government promised that, unlike in 2005, it would prepare an actual map of STV constituencies so that voters would know what they were voting for, and that if it passed, the new electoral system would be in place for the May, 2009, provincial legislative election.
Now, the Chief Electoral Officer has said that–even with the districting arrangement decided before the referendum–there would not be time to implement STV before the general election.
So, at the earliest, BC will have its first STV election at the following general election, in 2013.