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Learning about voting systems

Hey, students! Teachers!  The Citizens' Assembly is a piece of BC history that is still unfolding RIGHT NOW! Capture this unique opportunity – while it is in progress and in the news – to learn about:

  • Referendums - how can a citizen prepare to vote in the May 17 provincial referendum?
  • Electoral Systems - what system do we use in BC? What systems are used in democracies around the world? Why did the Assembly recommend BC-STV as the best system for our province?
  • Civic Participation - what did it take to be a member of the Citizens' Assembly? The Assembly was made up of 160 regular, randomly selected, British Columbians who volunteered their time to help shape the future of our province.
Watch these cool animations which explain BC-STV and our current electoral system. And, visit this page for information on the BC-STV system recommended by the Assembly.

Watch or listen to recordings of Assembly meetings

Read the learning materials provided to members

Check out the Assembly fact sheets

Hold a model Citizens' Assembly at your school using teacher Paula Waatainen's  lesson aid package, Assessing Electoral Systems: Opportunities for Political Education and Active Citizenship. This lesson aid and other Citizens' Assembly school materials are a great way to bring this important provincial issue into the classroom.

What traits do you think BC's electoral system should have? While you learn about BC-STV, compare it with our current system, First Past the Post.  What do you think is the best system for BC?

To find out what other people encouraged the Assembly to recommend, read summaries of presentations given at public hearings held across BC during the spring. Peruse over 1600 written submissions posted on our website. You can also follow the ongoing coverage in the news media.

Discuss the Citizens' Assembly with your friends, schoolmates and family. Hold a model Assembly at your school, using the Assessing Electoral Systems  resource.

Make your opinion known. Write to the media - or your MLA - about what you think of the work of the Citizens' Assembly.

Visit the school materials page for links to a variety of lessons and activities about electoral reform - including a special lesson aid written about the Assembly.


  • Get Your Vote On is a province-wide, non-partisan project that is focused on getting youth out to vote in the upcoming British Columbia election. Their message is one of youth engagement, voter empowerment and issues education. The project will educate and encourage young people that their voice matters and that voting is an essential part of being a citizen.
  • Student Vote  operates student elections that parallel elections held across Canada. It is working to build a habit of electoral and community participation among young people.
  • Democracy Project Check Your Head is encouraging youth to get involved in their democracy
  • Rush the Vote is a national organization dedicated to increasing youth voter turnout and political awareness through music and education.
  • Elections Canada: Young Voters Encourages young adults to speak their mind through the ballot and get their voice heard.
  • The 20 000 project An online petition for young women: “As one of the 2.5 million young women in Canada between the ages of 18 and 30, I pledge to make my voice heard by excercising my right to vote in the next federal election.”
  • YOUCAN (Youth Canada Association) hosted Ready, Set, Vote in September 2003 to discuss barriers youth face in the area of democratic
    participation. Get the report online.

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