BC: Power up your Vote!

I gave this spiel at the Victoria GeoGeeks meet-up last week, but it’s worth giving to the world at large: if you want your vote to count in choosing your representatives, exercise it at every opportunity! For those in the USA, that means participating in primary elections, and for us in British Columbia right now that means participating in the party leadership contests.

When you participate in early elections like primaries or leadership races, your vote gets more powerful.

In the last British Columbia election (2009) 1,651,567 people voted to choose the government. But they didn’t get to choose the Premier, they just got to choose the party or local candidate. The next Premier of BC will be the leader of either the BC Liberals or the BC NDP. The combined membership of those races will probably be on the order of 60 thousand. So a vote cast in the leadership contests is about 27 times more determinative of who will be the Premier than a General Election vote.

Who wouldn’t want their vote to be 27 times more powerful?!? But here’s the rub: only party members get to vote.

For the BC Liberals, the election will occur on February 26, but the cut-off for membership is 5PM on February 4. You can sign-up online here ($10 annual membership).

For the BC New Democrats, the election will occur on April 17, but the cut-off is midnight on January 17, and you can sign-up online here ($10 minimum donation).

If you live in BC, this is your chance to have an outsized influence on who makes the decisions for our future. Get to it! I have!