Wednesday, November 30, 2005
No surprise from 'yes' proponents
Some of the people who campaigned for the "yes" side in Monday's plebiscite on proportional representation were not surprised by low turnouts and the solid rejection of electoral reform.I just love being condescended to, don't you?
Jeannie Lea of Every Vote Counts said the "no" side did a good job of getting support. She also said the Commission on P.E.I.'s Electoral Future only gave Islanders a month to think about the Mixed Member Proportional model. "I think for a lot of people a month was not long enough to digest this. I think that the "no" side was able to raise fear in a lot of people. Rural ridings saw this as a further erosion of their power. The number of polling stations was definitely a factor. I mean even down to when the commission recommended the question. 'Yes' was first on the ballot, and you notice yesterday on your ballot that 'yes' was not the first choice, 'no' was the first choice." Lea said her group succeeded in sparking discussion about the way provincial politicians are elected. The head of Fair Vote Canada said the province has lost the chance to lead Canada in electoral reform. Wayne Smith said setting a new precedent would have to fall to other provinces. "Well in Quebec they actually have draft legislation which is going out to a public consultation process throughout the next year. And then in Ontario we're about to get underway with a citizens assembly like they had in British Columbia and that will probably lead to a referendum in November of 2007. And then in 2008, there will be another referendum in British Columbia, so it's coming, it's happening." Smith said the overwhelming rejection of the plebiscite question shows there should have been more education.