Friday, May 08, 2009

STV Set To Fail In BC?

A worrying trendline for STV supporters in British Columbia. Two seperate outfits show similar findings, one concludes as people learn more, the less inclined to vote in favor of STV.

First, the very reliable Mustel poll shows a large hurdle to get majority support, never mind the 60% threshold:
Today’s Mustel poll of 852 eligible B.C. voters was conducted between April 29 and May 6th, a period that includes Sunday’s leaders debate.

The poll also found a lack of support for the BC-STV electoral system. Some 43 per cent said they will vote for the existing First Past the Post system; 33 per cent said they intend to vote for BC-STV. Another 24 per cent were undecided.

A large undecided, but even if they were to break en masse in support of STV, the reform would fail.

What might be more concerning for proponents, the Angus Reid poll, which has tracked support for STV. In a poll done last week, AR found support for STV at 53%, while 47% supported the current system. Still, not enough for passage, but strong support. The latest AR result shows a change, with only 45% support for STV, 55% support the current system. The pollster concludes that increased awareness is hurting STV:

Awareness of the referendum on electoral reform has risen in the last week with only nine per cent of people “not aware at all” (-8), while those who are “very aware” have increased to 57 per cent (+12). This rise in awareness seems to have lowered the chances of BC-STV being implemented in the next provincial election.

If I were a betting man...


Chrystal Ocean said...

"Negative," thanks to the negative ads and media spouting for the status quo that has been going on ad nauseum in recent weeks. But watch out! LOADS of pro-STV stuff is coming down the pipes. If my experience from last nights well-attended all candidates meeting is any indication, STV will do better than anyone is predicting.

Steve V said...

"But watch out! LOADS of pro-STV stuff is coming down the pipes."

Then, one really has to question the wisdom of proponents, that they've waited until the final hours to blitz.

Anonymous said...

"But watch out! LOADS of pro-STV stuff is coming down the pipes."

Christal, maybe you missed the part in the above post: the more people know about STV, the less inclined they are to support it.

STV would probably have a better chance if there was no publicity at all - like in 2005 when it almost passed.

Jim said...

"But watch out! LOADS of pro-STV stuff is coming down the pipes."

This reminds me of what we heard from Liberals in the final two weeks of the campaign - we know how that turned out.

And I thought the pro-STV campaign was warning that the NO-side had millions of dollars for a LAST MINUTE barrage of anti-STV ads? Sounds like one hell of a mountain to climb.

Very unfortunate because I wanted to see it pass. I hope at the least it gets 55% or more. Otherwise, people will use this an excuse to kill electoral reform at the national level.

Greg said...

We have to think positive until the people have had a chance to have their say. Given that the people who own this country like their democracy skewed in their favor, it is no wonder they have unleashed their media mouthpieces to attack reform. Keep fighting the good fight Chrystal.

Steve V said...


I'm sort of tired of this copout argument to be frank. I haven't followed it as intimately as some, but from what I've read the coverage has been pretty fair, certainly no sense of a conspiracy to usurp electoral reform. Seems like the concept has been given quite a bit of attention, so people are probably better informed, unlike the relative indifference we saw here in the last Ontario election. If it fails it fails, and rather that put it down to some convenient crutch, maybe just accept the democratic expression on democracy.

Skinny Dipper said...

It's not over yet.

The BC-STV campaign will need a lot of media exposure. The big supporters of voting reform will need to show their faces this weekend. Andrew Coyne, David Suzuki and Christy Clark have stepped up to homeplate. We need othere well-known people to express their support.

The focus of the new radio ads focus on the types of political people want to keep the antiquated First-Past-the-Post voting system.

I won't predict the results. It's still anyone's game.

Steve V said...

"It's not over yet."

I didn't mean to imply it was...stranger things have happened.

Skinny Dipper said...

Thanks :)

JimmE said...

The prob. is these proposals are part of an election campaign. Most folks think STV et al, are an inside baseball conversation & they would be right. It's all rubbish, just another way for Dippers to get jobs whining how unfair the world is. MacDonald didn't need PR to get Confederation done, nor Laurie the west settled, King conscription, Tommy Douglas Medicare (in Sask), Pearson the Flag, PET the charter, or JC the deficit under control. Want something done? Effing do it! PR is a waste of time & effort. Starting a country, giddy-up go PR! Running a country that works pretty good but needs some work? Get to Effing work!

Greg said...

I'm sort of tired of this copout argument to be frank.

I am too, Steve and I wish it wasn't true. Not all of the MSM is in the bag for the status quo, but enough are to make a difference. Gary Mason makes the same point in his column today in the Globe.

Anonymous said...

In France and Ireland their referendums on the European Union
constitution were overwhelmingly backed by their country's Establishments. The French people were warned of the direst consequences of defying the EU. Yet majorities in both countries did.

The public voted to retain STV in the two Irish referendums tho the politicians and opinion leaders also formed a united front against it.
Chrystal Ocean says something of the sort has shown itself on the mass media in BC. It is what I would expect and confirms that STV
wonderfully enlivens the self-serving prejudices of the ruling class.

Nevertheless, whatever the result, I agree that the democratic majority should be respected. (The 60% thresholds have much to answer for but that's another matter.)

And before it's all over and everyone walks away, as someone who was a most reluctant discoverer of STV forty years ago, I would like to thank all the wonderful people in BC who are still working for this essential reform to the survival and progress of representative democracy, as John Stuart Mill was among the first to realise when STV, as preference voting with proportional counting, was first invented.

Richard Lung
Democracy Science

sunsin said...

LOADS of pro-STV stuff is coming down the pipes.Calling Dr. Freud....

STV is about as fragrant as the stuff that more usually comes down pipes.

If you want to get past the absurdities that first past the post produces in a three or four party system, then hold a damned runoff.

The contempt that STV proponents have for the idea that people might stir themselves twice in four years to exercise their democratic rights tells us all we need to know about them. Instead, they want an absurdly convoluted system that throws the vote count into the hands of computers. With STV, the Man will tell you who won, and if you don't like it, you can just stuff it.

Just the sort of thing I'd expect people like David "Wal-Mart" Suzuki to be supporting, as a matter of fact.