Re: “Commons witness casts doubt on his own study of ranked ballot system” (Aug. 24, p. 5). How does one get journalists to focus upon the people for whom electoral reform is being contemplated? I am referring to Canadian citizens, the intended beneficiaries of electoral reform. While regurgitating the well-worn story about how alternative vote, AV, (ranked ballots in single-member ridings) might or might not impact the fortunes of the Liberal party, Tim Naumetz completely missed that the facts that make that story are irrelevant because of Harold Jansen's most pertinent comments about the long usage of AV in Western provinces: Winner-take-all AV did not result in any more proportional results than first-past-the-post (FPTP); Under AV, the leading first-choice candidate almost always won the seat. AV had the same results as FPTP 97 to 98 per cent of the time, even at the riding level; A very large number of voters did not express preferences beyond their first choice on AV ballots. In Manitoba, the majority did not; Proportional Single Transferable Vote (STV) used during the same period performed much better in converting voter preferences to seats. STV also ensured a viable opposition. I would add to Jansen’s comments that, under AV, many exhausted ballots result from the significant failure of voters to choose other preferences. Exhausted ballots have no preferences left to transfer from the lowest-ranked candidate to remaining candidates. It is widely reported that AV ensures a majority winner in every riding. This is not true. AV only ensures that the winner has a majority of votes after exhausted ballots are discarded. When taking into account all valid votes cast in each riding, AV frequently results in winners with less than majority support. Some jurisdictions in the United States are returning to FPTP after realizing that AV is just another plurality system that does not ensure majority winners. Surely, even politicians would want to know these facts so that they can make appropriate decisions on behalf of their constituents. So why can we not get some media to report them? For those who wish to view Jansen's full testimony on Aug. 22 to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, it can be viewed online at CPAC or ParlVu. P.E. McGrail Brampton, Ont.