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We are still looking for a few volunteers to “host” in the Hospitality Room during the Sr. Boys ‘A’ Provincials on Nov. 22-24. We also need 6 dozen baked items (squares, cookies, loaves).
If you can donate time or baking or both, or for more information, please contact Brenda Willmann at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-564-2200.
The lost and found was put out this morning for staff and students in the high school foyer. Please take some time before noon tomorrow to come claim any missing items before it goes to charity at one of our local thrift stores.
Cedars Christian School has an opening for a part-time Librarian Technician for the remainder of the 2018/19 school year. Please forward a resumé, statement of faith, and references to Interim Principal Shane Nelson. A job description can be found linked below.
Mail: 701 North Nechako Road, Prince George, BC V2K 1A2
The following article was written by Miss Darragh’s Socials 10 class after a detailed class research project on voting and the current referendum. It was not just an interesting learning experience for the class – the “voting participants” learned a lot as well!
In our grade 10 Socials Studies class we have been learning all about the Canadian government, about the different electoral systems and how voting works. As a class we decided to hold a school election involving both the students and the staff. The point of the election was to gain a better understanding of how each electoral system works.
Our first step was to choose, as a class, what the election was actually going to be about. In the end we settled on Lunchtime Activities. We divided that topic into four “parties”: Athletics, Games, Table Games, and Clubs. We divided everyone in the class into one of the four electoral groups: First Past The Post, Rural Urban Proportional, Mixed Member Proportional, and lastly Dual Member Proportional, which will all be explained in more depth later on. The third step was to create ridings (specific areas based on population) consisting of 31 people. The four ridings were: the grade 8s, the grade 9s, the grade 10s, and the grade 11/12s. Each riding had a certain number of staff members added to it so that they all had an equal number of people. After this, we needed to create different ballots in every electoral group for each of the four ridings. Each riding’s ballot included the four parties and candidates for each party.
We then went to different ridings in the highschool to gain data. We explained to the students how the ballots worked and how to vote with them. After collecting information from students and staff, we counted up the votes and calculated the percentages of votes and seats that both parties and their candidates won. In the end Athletics won overall with 42% of the vote, Table Games and Games tied with 22%, and Clubs finished with 14% (as seen in the graph).
Each group used the data collected to determine which ‘party’ would hold power under their electoral system, these are discussed below.
First Past the Post
In First Past the Post, a person votes for a candidate of their choice in their riding. Each candidate represents a party. At the end of the election, the candidate with the most votes in each riding wins a seat in parliament and whichever party has the most candidates with seats wins the entire election. This is sometimes described as the “winner takes all”. To make four different ridings we divided the high school grades including staff into groups, Grade 8s, 9s, 10, 11/12s. The ballot below is an example of the ones we used, each riding had its own candidates for each party. The left column lists the parties, the middle column lists the candidates for each party, and the right column is where voters mark which party and candidate they chose.
After the election was conducted, we counted each individual ballot and which candidate was chosen for each riding. For this electoral system, we took each riding and tallied up the votes and came up with our data. With our tallies, we found the percentage for each candidate and figured out if we had a majority government.
In the end, Athletics won with 2 seats in First Past the Post. We only had one error occur which was a spoiled ballot. A spoiled ballot is when the data was filled out incorrectly making it unable to be counted properly and correctly used. However, because each electoral group had a minimum of at least one spoiled ballot, in the end, it didn’t impact our data’s outcome. One downside to FPTP is that not all voters wishes are represented. For example; in this election the people who voted for Clubs got no representation in the “government”, meaning they won zero seats even though they did get votes.
First Past the Post is the simplest electoral system for voting and for counting the ballots. For our school election, we had an easy time explaining how to vote, which was great for everyone. In the end, athletics won two seats overall making it a minority government. That means that they won less than 50% of the votes but still won more than the other parties. Table games and games each won one seat in this election.
Dual Member Proportional
Dual Member Proportional is a type of voting system, that can be considered more of a complex system. In Dual Member Proportional ballots have an individual column for the parties, the candidates, and a voting column. Instead of having only one single candidate for each party we had two. The reason we had two candidates instead of one is because two smaller ridings of an area were joined together to form one. For example we had in Athletics, the ridings basketball and broomball came together to form one candidate.
Nevertheless, you still only had one vote even though there are two candidates, but there are eight seats available because of the additional candidates. The primary candidate, the first, is considered the winner if their party is chosen. As you can see this could lead to a problem, because the area where the secondary candidate came from may not be represented very well. They might not have a voice, due to the fact that the primary candidate may only represent their area. We counted votes by gathering all the ballots and tallying up all the votes for each party. However this voting system is based on percentage so the party with the highest percentage wins, but the party with the lowest percentage can still win a seat because they still have some votes. In our vote, clubs did not win any ridings but they still got one out of the eight seats. This was because they won more or equal to 12.5% of the total vote.
Dual Member Proportional is a good idea, but it has a lot of downfalls to it. In the long run it might look simple to the naked eye, but there is actually a lot more to it. You may be voting for a specific candidate, but come out with a different result if they weren’t the primary candidate. In addition your area may not have as much of a voice as you were hoping to have. If Dual Member Proportional isn’t your cup of tea, you don’t need to vote for that system; research your different options and make a difference, your vote counts!
Mixed Member Proportional
Our group investigated the Mixed Member Proportional electoral system. For MMP, the ballots had two sections to vote in. On one side, you were able to vote for the party of your choice. This vote went towards regional seats. Regions are groups of ridings. Our regions were Grades 8/9 and Grades 10/11/12. On the other side, you were able to vote for the candidate of your choice. This vote went towards district seats. Just to be clear, you didn’t have to choose the candidate that represented your favorable party. Overall there were 6 seats to be won; 4 districts, and 2 regional.
To count the votes and figure out how many seats each party got, we counted the votes per candidate in each district by using first-past-the-post. The candidate with the most votes per riding won a seat. Next, we determined the 2 extra regional seats by counting the party votes, and ensuring that every party that had received votes got a seat. The pie chart demonstrated the data we found out. Athletics received 3 seats, while Clubs, Table Games, and Games each got 1 seat.
Our data may not have been completely accurate because we gave each riding more candidates to vote for than they were supposed to have. Therefore they could have easily voted for a candidate that wasn’t supposed to be in their riding. So we slightly altered some of the ballots to make it as correct as possible. We had 2 spoiled ballots out of the groups as well.
A proportional representation system gives smaller, less known parties the chance to get involved in our government. Because of the increased chance of a minority, this government is much less stable and the decisions made in this government can be unstable because everyone has to compromise and agree. Based on the data we received, we discovered that MMP is not the most equal representation for votes, and it also ended in a minority government which has less political strength than a majority government.
Rural Urban Proportional
Rural Urban Proportional (RUP) is a voting system that is based on proportional representation instead of first-past-the-post. We started by creating our ballots. For RUP we combined grade 8/9 and 10/11/12 to create two ridings and 4 seats (two seats for each riding). There were 8 different candidates in each ballot. They ranked their options from 1-8 from their favourite to their least favourite.
After everyone filled out their ballots we had to come up with a quota. A quota is the minimum amount of votes that a candidate needs to be elected. We came up with the quota by taking the number of votes (which is 31 + 31 because each riding had 31 people in it) and dividing the number of seats open (2), plus one. Once we divided this, we added one more vote.
We started by counting the number one votes. If someone was over the quota we then spread the extra votes to the voters next open choice. If no one met the quota, the candidate with the least amount of votes was eliminated and their votes were distributed to the voters next open choice. This continued until two people met the quota and those two people were elected. Some things that went wrong in our group were that we had to restart counting, and we had four spoiled ballots. We had to restart counting because we only started by counting the number one votes of the party and not the candidates as well. One of the groups had to restart counting two more times the 8/9 riding because we put all the votes as first round votes even if they weren’t. We also had a really hard time finding how to make our quota. This took a while for us to figure it out, because we kept getting over 50% and two people can’t get over 50%.
The winners of the 8/9 riding were dodgeball and cooking. In the 10/11/12 they were pool and Dutch blitz. Every party athletics, clubs, table games, and games won 25% of the votes or 1 seat. We found out that not everyone had their first choice, some people had their fifth or sixth choice. We also found out that we do not like this system and would not vote for it.
The purpose of this experiment was to learn how different electoral systems affect our votes, and how the votes are tabulated. In First Past The Post the votes ended up being very different than the other systems even though we all had the same number of votes overall. This project was an interesting task for the class to handle; it showed us how complicated some voting systems can be, and how to count and calculate percentages in these systems. This experiment was a way to ready ourselves for when we are eligible to vote, it gave us a taste of what we can look forward to in the future.