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Rural-Urban Proportional (RUP)

What is the Rural-Urban Proportional voting system?


Rural-Urban Proportional (RUP) combines two different proportional voting systems: Single Transferable Vote (STV) and Mixed Member Proportional (MMP).

Voters in urban and semi-urban districts use STV to elect multiple MLAs for their larger electoral district.

Rural-Urban Proportional

STV districts are larger and have more than one MLA

Parties can run multiple candidates in a district and voters rank their preferred candidates on the ballot (1, 2, 3, etc.). Voters can rank as many candidates as they wish.

Rural-Urban Proportional ballot

See the Counting section in the table below for how candidates are elected in urban and semi-urban districts.

In rural districts voters use MMP to elect district and regional MLAs (see MMP).

Provincial results are likely to be generally proportional.

RUP is not used anywhere as a single system, though MMP and STV are used in several countries at the national or sub-national level. MMP is used in Germany, New Zealand, and Scotland. STV is used in Ireland, Australia and Malta.

Characteristics of Rural-Urban Proportional (RUP)


Voting Urban and Semi-Urban Districts (STV)

  • Voters rank candidates in order of preference (1, 2, 3…)
  • Voters can rank as many candidates as they wish
  • Parties can run multiple candidates in a district (up to the number of seats in the district)

Rural Districts

Counting Urban and Semi-Urban Districts (STV)

  • Several rounds of counting are usually required
  • Each district has a minimum number of votes needed to win one seat in the district. This number is called the quota and varies in each district depending on how many votes and how many seats there are.
  • Any candidate who reaches the quota is elected
  • If an elected candidate has more votes than the quota, their extra votes are transferred to other candidates using the voter’s next choice
  • Candidates with the fewest votes are dropped and their votes are transferred to other candidates using the voter’s next choice
  • Counting continues in this way until all seats in the district are filled

Rural Districts

Results
  • Overall provincial results are likely to be generally proportional
Representation
  • Between 87 and 95 MLAs
  • British Columbians in urban and semi-urban areas have multiple MLAs representing their larger electoral district
  • British Columbians in rural areas have one MLA representing their electoral district and other MLAs representing their region
Electoral districts
  • Electoral districts would be larger than they are now and there would be fewer of them
  • If RUP is adopted, an independent electoral boundaries commission will determine the MMP districts, the MMP regions, and the STV districts