Sunday, May 10, 2009

Poll: New BC voting system headed for referendum loss.

For some reason it seems very difficult to convince people that our archaic first past the post system should be replaced! The present system makes it more difficult for smaller parties to get seats and often those elected do not even have a majority of the votes. Also, there can be huge discrepancies between popular vote obtained and number of seats won. However, these problems seem to count for naught among many people. Better the evil that you know than the good that you do not!

New voting system headed for referendum loss: poll

Survey shows voter support for STV at 33 per cent, with 52 per cent planning to vote for existing system. Another 15 per cent are undecided

By Neal Hall, Vancouver SunMay 9, 2009

The latest public opinion poll shows voters plan to reject changing our voting system during an electoral reform referendum on election day.
The Ipsos Reid poll, done for The Vancouver Sun, released today shows only 33 per cent of voters say they will vote in favour of the single transferable vote (BC-STV) system and 52 per cent plan to vote for the existing first-past-the-post system, with another 15 per cent still undecided.
An Ipsos Reid survey conducted in March showed voter support for STV at 43 per cent -- 10 per cent higher than today -- and 41 per cent planned to vote in favour of keeping the current voting system.
The latest poll found 21 per cent of decided voters say there is a good chance they will change their minds on the referendum question on election day, the new poll found.
The phone poll of 800 randomly selected residents across B.C. was conducted between May 4 and 8 and is considered accurate to within 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
A breakdown of poll results along party lines shows the strongest support for STV today is among Green voters (65 per cent support STV), with NDP voters split on the issue (47 per cent support) and Liberal voters showing the weakest support (25 per cent support STV).
Green Party leader Jane Sterk was the only party leader to publicly support changing our voting system to BC-STV. NDP leader Carole James and Liberal leader Gordon Campbell took no position, allowing voters to decide for themselves.
Last election in 2005, voters were asked in a referendum whether they wanted to change the voting system to BC-STV, which was recommended in 2004 by the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform.
Almost 58 per cent of voters supported changing to BC-STV, just short of the 60 per cent required for the system to be adopted. The results were so close, the government decided to hold another referendum this election.
Bill Tieleman, president of the No STV campaign (, said Friday that he thinks the latest poll results show the more people learn about BC-STV, the more they dislike it.
This referendum, he said, people can see the larger riding boundaries on a proposed STV electoral map -- BC-STV would reduce the current 85 single-member ridings to 20 multi-member ridings, with two to seven MLAs to be elected, and voters would rank candidates in order of preference (1,2,3, etc).
"I think people now have an opportunity to see how this will work," he said, adding voters find the STV vote counting confusing.
No STV, which has about three dozen volunteers, mainly concentrated on ads to get its message out, he said.
Shoni Field, a former citizens' assembly member who now is a pro-BC-STV campaigner, was disappointed by the latest poll but said STV supporters remain undaunted. "I think the numbers on election night are going to be very different," she said Friday. "I think there will be a lot of movement in the next few days."
The BC-STV campaign ( has about 5,000 volunteers working across the province, trying to convince undecided voters to support STV because it's a fairer voting system, she said.

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