Fair Vote Canada BC expresses disappointment

Fair Vote Canada BC congratulates the 1,403,358  million BC voters who participated in this referendum. “While the result is not what we were hoping for, we are pleased that so many voters exercised their right to have a voice on this important decision,” says Gisela Ruckert, President of Fair Vote Canada BC.

We also recognize the thousands of volunteers who dedicated so much time and energy to talking to their fellow citizens about proportional representation. We are extremely proud of the evidence-based, grassroots campaign we ran and the positive message of a better democracy that we brought to British Columbians.

Advocating for change is always the greater challenge. Proponents have to convince people to take a plunge into the unfamiliar, and people are reluctant to do that when the issue is complex and they have never experienced the alternative. This result underlines that referendums are not the best way to make decisions on all topics.

The desire to improve democracy in Canada remains strong. Quebec is set to introduce legislation for proportional representation this spring, PEI voters will have a second referendum, and the federal NDP and Greens are committed to electoral reform.

“We are confident that proportional representation is coming to Canada soon” says Ruckert. “It would have been a feather in our cap for BC to lead the way, of course, but pro rep will get here eventually. Once folks see it in action somewhere else in Canada, the benefits of pro rep will start to outweigh the obstacle posed by unfamiliarity. There are solid reasons why most modern democracies are choosing not to use first-past-the-post — the comparative research is clear, compelling and consistent in favour of pro rep.”

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