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Green bill provides democracy for school board

6 May, 2004

Green bill will give more democracy for school boards

Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald is delighted that his member's bill, which amends the School Board of Trustee regulations to give schools the option of adopting STV (single transferable vote) for their next board elections, has been drawn in today's ballot.

At the moment the Education Act regulations prescribe first past the post for school board elections.

"Schools deserve the chance to choose the electoral system they want to use for electing their boards and I believe STV is the ideal system," said Mr Donald. "It's as easy as '1-2-3' for voters and ensures a fairer outcome for everybody."

STV is a form of voting where people rank candidates in their order of preference. It is widely used in Australia and a number of other countries and will be used nationwide here for the first time this year when all district health boards and a number of councils use it instead of first past the post at the local body elections in October.

"I have always found voting in School Board elections difficult because, under first past the post there is a real risk your most preferred candidates will be defeated by the votes you cast for others," said Mr Donald. "As a result I've always had to waste some of my votes but with STV that problem disappears.

"I'll be asking the Government to support this bill and I'm confident that it will recognise the benefits of extending the use of STV beyond councils and health boards."

ENDS

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