Purpose of TrySTV.ca:
This mock election is intended to be a fun and engaging tool to help voters understand how to cast an STV ballot and how their vote is counted. We hope you have fun with it. Many aspects of this simulation are realistic - in particular, the vote counting process is exactly what would happen with BC-STV. However, there are some differences - please read below to learn what conclusions are fair to draw and which aren't.
How TrySTV Would Differ from a Real BC-STV Election:
The main difference likely relates to ballot length. In the TrySTV election, we have listed as many candidates as we could find. This means that we have close to 85 Liberal, 85 NDP and over 60 Green Party candidates listed in the entire election. In each district, we have therefore shown each of these parties running virtually a full slate of candidates - about 15 or so candidates in a 4 seat district.
In a real BC-STV election, we would expect that each party would typically run only 1 or 2 more candidates than seats they might expect to win, so the ballots in a real election would be shorter than the ones here. The average district under BC-STV would have four seats - the NDP and the Liberals would each likely run 3 candidates in such a district, the Greens would run 1 or 2, and other minor parties would possibly run one candidate, for a total of about 10-12 candidates.
In addition, under our current system, the parties nominate candidates one at a time. With BC-STV, parties would nominate candidates in small groups of 2 to 4 or 5 people. Political scientists therefore expect that these groups of candidates would be more diverse than the set of candidates nominated individually.
What's Fair to Conclude from this Simulation:
This simulation accurately demonstrates how your vote is cast and counted. Assuming that voters on this site rank candidates in much the way they would in real life, this should give us a relatively accurate picture of how proportional BC-STV will be. It will also give us a clear picture of how many voters will end up with a representative they've helped elect (typically 81%-85%, vs only about 50% with our current First Past the Post system).
What's Not Fair to Conclude:
This simulation is not meant to predict the results either of the current election or any future election that might be run under BC-STV. Although we have widely publicized the site and have advised all the major political parties of its existence, we have taken no steps to ensure that the visitors to our site are an accurate random sample of BC voters. We have also not restricted how many times an individual can vote or in how many different STV districts (although we have set it so that the same IP address can't cast more than one ballot per district in less than an hour or so). You might therefore expect to see a distribution of votes that does not reflect what you know to be the current levels of support for the different parties.
If your preferred candidate or party does not win in this election, please don't take this too seriously. The only election that really counts is the real one, so please try to have fun with this one, and feel free to invite your friends.Maps | Riding index