Tuesday, July 16, 2013

MythBuster: 70% of Canadians support PR

“A recent Environics poll, backing up a decade of such polls, showed an all-time high of 76% of Canadians support proportional representation for Canadian elections.” — Fair Vote Canada

According to two polls — a 2002 Decima Research poll and a 2013 Environics poll — about 70% of Canadians appear to support proportional representation.

But on closer inspection, most of this is soft support:

2002: Do you support introducing PR in federal elections?

Option Support
Very supportive 29%
Somewhat supportive 42%
Somewhat opposed 18%
Very opposed 11%

2013: Do you support moving towards a system of PR?

Option Support
Strongly support 24%
Somewhat support 46%
Somewhat oppose 7%
Strongly oppose 11%
Depends on PR type 6%
Don't know/NA 6%

The big question is: how will this soft support hold up under fierce attacks from the corporate media and business community during a campaign?

Canadian PR Referendums

Let's look at the results of provincial PR referendums. (Note: these undemocratic referendums required 60% for PR to win.)

BC 2005: adopt Single Transferable Vote?

Option Vote
Yes: adopt STV (PR) 58%
No: keep FPP 42%

PEI 2005: adopt Mixed Member Proportional?

Option Vote
Yes: adopt MMP (PR) 36%
No: keep FPP 64%

ON 2007: adopt Mixed Member Proportional?

Option Vote
Yes: adopt MMP (PR) 37%
No: keep FPP 63%

BC 2009: adopt Single Transferable Vote?

Option Vote
Yes: adopt STV (PR) 39%
No: keep FPP 61%

In most of the referendums, FPP won by a super-majority. No doubt, these referendums were highly corrupt and designed to fail. But it's clearly delusional to think 70% of Canadians will vote for PR it in a federal referendum.

We need to be more realistic in order to build the solid grassroots support required for bringing PR to Canada.

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