If you look at the percentages of those that actually voted against the Canadian Wheat Board, they are hardly conclusive:
38 per cent said they wanted to maintain the status quo.
Of those who didn't want the status quo, about 48 per cent said they wanted to choose where to sell their barley and about 14 per cent said the wheat board should have no role in selling barley.
The plebiscite results showed that the strongest support for the single desk system to continue was in Manitoba (51 per cent) and Saskatchewan (45 per cent), while in Alberta, only 21 per cent supported the status quo.
On the other hand, Alberta farmers were the most likely to support having a choice in where to market their barley. About 63 per cent said they supported that option. In Saskatchewan, the figure for the "CWB plus marketing choice" option was 42 per cent. In Manitoba, it was 34.6 per cent.
Turning Strahl's 62% number around, you could argue that 86% of farmers don't support abandoning the Canadian Wheat Board. The middle choice isn't a choice, it was deliberately added to help Strahl justify his feverish push to kill supply management.
The good news, these results show that the Tories could pay a price if they proceed, as Strahl suggests. A full majority in Manitoba voted for the first, clear option, which means there is no stomach for Strahl's agenda. In Saskatchewan, MP's have warned the Agriculture Minister that this push could cost the Conservatives. Couple this fact with the budget fallout, and Saskatchewan can no longer be considered a firm Tory base. In an electoral discussion, the opinions of Albertan farmers are irrelevant, unless of course you get bonus seats for 70% support.
All that happened today, Chuck Strahl proved that you can muddy the waters, toy with basic democratic premises and get a misleading result. Today just adds to the confusion, gives no real direction and essentially allow an ideologue to hammer home his agenda. There is no mandate in this vote.
Accidental Deliberations has more on the triumph of democracy and clarity.