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FAQ: Impacts on Political Parties

Are parties less important under BC-STV? 
Under BC-STV, governments will usually continue to be formed by large parties, though perhaps in coalition with another party or parties. During elections, candidates are grouped by party on the STV ballot paper to aid people in selecting their preferences. A key difference in a BC-STV election is that the system is candidate-based, rather than party-based. This means that voters choose which of the party's candidates they prefer to represent them.

How many candidates will a party run in a constituency?
Under the BC-STV system, parties will likely run only the number of candidates they expect to win in a riding. The reason for this conservative approach is that votes will be split among party candidates and the party would not want to spread its voter support too thin.

For example, if a riding had five seats and Party A ran five candidates, voters who support Party A could end up distributing their first preferences amongst all those candidates, giving a candidate from another party, which ran fewer candidates, a larger number of first preferences.

How do candidates get on the ballot?
Candidates representing a political party would secure a space on the ballot via the current party nomination process; however, more than one candidate per party may run in a district. Independents would also follow current procedures for being listed on the ballot.

Will there be more diversity in the legislature as a result of BC-STV?
BC-STV is more likely to produce a legislature that reflects the diversity of the province because political parties have an opportunity to field more than one candidate. Parties will be more likely to put forward a slate of candidates that reflects the diversity of the constituency's citizens. And importantly, it's voters - not parties - who choose which candidates are elected from each party, so voters utimately decide on the diversity of BC's Legislature.

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