The members of the Citizens' Assembly began their task by
learning about, and studying, electoral systems that are in use
around the world. That included the one in use in B.C., the Single
Member Plurality system that is often called the First Past the
This "learning phase" began on January 10, 2004, in Vancouver.
It ran for six full weekends, spread over January, February and
March, at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, 580 West Hastings
Street, in downtown Vancouver.
At the conclusion of the "learning phase," in late
March, Assembly members prepared a Preliminary
Statement to the People of B.C
., outlining electoral
values they believed had merit, and questions
for further consideration. This
report was intended to stimulate public
discussion and kick-off the public hearing phase of the Assembly's
The educational program was designed by, and was delivered by,
two internationally renowned experts on electoral systems. They
were Dr. Ken Carty
Assembly's chief research officer, and Dr. Campbell Sharman
associate research officer. Other experts were called in as
Their program was neutral and objective. Written materials and
from the members' Learning Phase are posted on
this website, and so are a number of audio and
Prof. Carty was on secondment from the University of B.C. to
work with the Assembly. He is a former head of UBC's political
science department (1996-2001) and teaches courses on Canadian and
comparative Western politics. He is widely published.
Prof. Sharman is an honourary associate professor at UBC. He
joined UBC in 2002 after a distinguished career at the University
of Western Australia. He, too, has been published, and his degrees
include one from Queen's University in Kingston ON.