The two views that appeared in Coast Reporter online Dec. 27, regarding the recent PR referendum defeat – “A submarine made of cheese” and “Voters fault process for failure of electoral referendum: survey” – seem to be comprised of so much Swiss cheese.
Here is a simpler interpretation.
There were 3.3 million eligible voters in this referendum. Of that eligible number, 16 per cent (533,518) voted in favour of fundamentally changing our political system. Unsurprisingly, that is just about the same percentage of voters who voted Green in the last provincial election.
The idea that if PR had been “better” explained then more people would have voted for it is merely an idea, not a fact. Isn’t it just as possible that if it had been “better” explained more people might have voted against it? When it comes to completely changing the process of forming a government, it’s best to be wary of those who want to tell you what is in your best interest, let alone everyone’s best interest.
The biggest lesson here is that, in response to a process that most voters didn’t bother to participate in, regarding a fundamental change to our system that most people clearly don’t support, 845,000 people took the time to voice their dissent. Had they not, then a small minority would have held sway over the majority – the very reason that so many are not in favour of PR to begin with!
The rest of us owe a big thank you to those of who took the time to vote No.
Alan Donenfeld, Gibsons