The last results kept the pressure on entrenched interests, almost a moral imperative given the previous support for electoral reform. That impetus has evaporated with last night's setback, any leverage for another "redo" can now be discarded. That isn't to say those committed to proportional representation will just disappear, the debate ends, only that there now exists a certain fatigue and little motivation. I actually agree with this opinion:
Political commentator David Mitchell told CBC News that the defeat of the STV measure would probably kill electoral reform for a generation, not only in British Columbia but also in the rest of Canada. Other provinces have also put forward referendums on proportional representation but none have passed.
At a certain point, the continual defeat of different PR initiatives brings unavoidable consequences. We can rehash the reasons why, some quite valid, but it's really the perception that's important. Those arguing against future referendums are now armed with more status quo ammunition and it becomes harder for proponents to force the "establishment" hand. Had the British Columbia results been closer, or at least a majority expression, then the debate would stay in the fore. I suspect what we'll see now, plenty of talk about keeping up the fight, but little political incentive to address. I think it quite fair to catergorize the British Columbia results as "devastating" to the future prospects for electoral reform, and would expand that to a nationwide sentiment. The beacon has been extinguished for all intent and purposes.