One Time Alliance BC

A Pilot Strategy for BC!

A number of One Time Alliance members have launched a new front to demonstrate how our tit-for-tat strategy of pairing ridings and parties could lead to more seats for the Greens and NDP in the upcoming BC election. We know that these two parties are most likely to be receptive to electoral reform and muscular climate action.

On the subject of electoral reform, we would like to see discussions restarted by convening an independent, non-partisans citizens’ assembly to recommend a way forward. This approach meshes with what Fair Vote Canada is advocating federally and in different provinces.

Our strategy is to pair a small number of ridings in which either the Greens or the NDP did well enough in the last election to potentially win this time around, with the support of the other party. “Support” means that the supporting party will not run a vigorous campaign against the party that could win the constituency.

For example, we have selected Columbia River–Revelstoke, currently held by the Liberals, as a possible win for the NDP. It could be paired with Kelowna—Lake Country or Kamloops—South Thompson, where a Green could potentially win with NDP support.

In this example, the Greens would stand aside in Columbia—Revelstoke to give the NDP a better shot at winning this riding. The NDP would stand aside in either Kelowna—Lake Country or Kamloops—South Thompson to facilitate a Green win.

Similarly, we think that a pairing of West Vancouver–Sea to Sky for the Greens and either North Vancouver-Seymour and/or Vancouver—False Creek for the NDP could produce another potential win each for the two parties.

Why would the parties agree to do this? Because neither is likely to win any of these seats on their own, but could do so by working together, on the basis of shared priorities.

Under a proportional electoral system, this sort of arrangement would not be needed and all parties — including the BC Conservatives — would be able to elect MLAs in proportion to votes cast. We call this a “one-time” alliance under the expectation that the parties would restart the discussion on electoral reform if elected. Only with real electoral democracy can we expect parties to respect the will of the electorate; only with proportional representation can we expect politics to be more collaborative and less partisan.

In the wake of the 2018 referendum, what we would like to see is the organization of an independent, non-partisan citizens’ assembly supported by all parties in the Legislature, to recommend a way forward on electoral reform. Political parties and elected MLAs should acknowledge that they are in a conflict of interest on the subject of electoral reform and leave it to a representative body of citizens’ to pronounce itself after studying the subject in depth, consulting with experts and deliberating among themselves.